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Should Same Rates Apply to All Health Care Payers?

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Many healthy policy watchers would like to see a single entity come up with hospital and physician services prices for private health insurers, public health programs and other payers, according to the Commonwealth Fund.

The Commonwealth Fund, New York, a foundation that supports health system change research, has reported that finding in a summary of results from a recent online survey that attracted responses from about 190 “leaders in health policy and innovators in health care delivery and finance.”

Today, payers and providers to engage in separate rate negotiations, although private insurers may base their rate structures in part on Medicare rate structures.

About 56% of the individuals who participated in the Commonwealth Fund survey support having a government agency or an independent entity that represents all payer negotiate rates for all payers, fund researchers say.

Only 9% of the survey participants support keeping the current rate negotiation system, the researchers say.

- Allison Bell