PRESS RELEASE: Health Policy Leaders Launch Coalition to Protect Consumers and Employers from Predatory Health Care Pricing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rhonda Craig Williams
Industry leaders mark launch with release of new report highlighting the impact of hospital consolidation
WASHINGTON, DC, September 13, 2023 – A non-partisan group of policy leaders who represent health care consumers, patients, employers, and doctors announced today the formation of the Alliance for Fair Health Pricing. Members of the coalition hope that through their collective efforts they can raise awareness about the primary drivers of high and rising health care prices and advance policies that will make care more affordable for all.
On Wednesday, the Alliance took its first step in shining a light on the reasons behind rising costs with the release of its new report, “Health Care Consolidation: Background, Consequences, and Policy Levers.” The report reveals how hospital consolidation and a lack of market competition increases prices, impacting health care costs, wages and economic growth, and the accessibility and affordability of health care.
“The research is clear that high prices are a leading driver of unaffordable health care coverage for consumers and employers,” said Ilyse Schuman, Senior Vice President, Health Policy, at the American Benefits Council, “Employers are committed to working with the coalition to raise awareness of unsustainable health care prices, and their pervasive impact on working families – even those with the very best health insurance coverage.”
The report comes as momentum for health care reform is building on Capitol Hill. Over the last few months, several committees and member offices on both sides of the aisle have introduced and advanced legislation that would help rein in the costs of health care. This includes actions to increase accountability and transparency in health care through policies like price transparency and site-neutral payment reform, which could help address health care consolidation.
“Health care costs continue to soar, and patients are paying the price,” said Brian Connell, Vice President of Federal Affairs at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. “Frankly, they’re at the breaking point, with many forced to face cancer without treatment due to the cost. Congress has a real opportunity to help constituents by making health care more affordable today and more sustainable in the future. An important first step is more competition and more transparency.”
Coalition members say now is the time to sound the alarm on unchecked health care price increases. They hope that pulling back the curtain on what is driving high health care costs will give Americans and policymakers a better understanding of how their health care prices are set and what solutions are needed to lower costs.
“We know that concerns about prices and inflation are top of mind for Americans and have exacerbated concerns about health care costs. We believe that bringing together a diverse coalition of health care leaders, doctors, consumers, and employers is exactly what is needed to disrupt the status quo,” Erica Socker, Vice President of Health Care at Arnold Ventures said. “The formation of this coalition allows us to maximize our collective impact and outcomes, ultimately lowering excessive health care prices and broadening access to affordable, high-quality care.”
For more information about the Alliance for Fair Health Pricing or to read the report, visit AllianceForFairHealthPricing.org.