Public Option Could Calm Pricing – A Silver Lining?


“Whether health reform passes or not, there will be some lasting effects that will help. Health Reform has raised awareness that all Americans are not equal in what they get charged for medical services, and sometimes the range of difference is shocking. The recent system of phony discounts that had the effect of propping up inflated health charges is starting to crumble. ”

“If there is a Public Option, especially which would have a negotiated payment rate for providers, any Public Option rate will quickly be adopted by the private sector as the new Usual & Customary standard payment schedule for everyone. Unlike Medicare, which was always seen as a discounted program, a negotiated Public Option rate would have the credibility of the federal government standard of a fair acceptable rate for regular people. Would providers object and try to balance bill? Perhaps at first, but telling a patient that the amount negotiated in good faith between providers and the government is a bogus rate is awkward. This will not happen overnight, but the public and the politicians are recognizing that there is some pricing funny business going on.”

– Fred Hunt, President, Society of Professional Benefit Administrators

Editor’s Note: Preferred Provider Networks will become extinct. Discounts based on inflated and obnoxiously high billed charges are a joke. The Disco Discount Generation, like America’s Greatest Generation, will pass into history as a brief footnote.

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