ACS CAN Comments on Transparency Rule
ACS CAN applauds the intent of the proposed rule, which is to provide consumers with information regarding their expected out-of-pocket health care costs for items and services before they receive care. Having access to this information will help consumers make more informed decisions about their health care services.
This disclosure is a significant step in the right direction, but we caution that disclosure of cost information alone fails to provide sufficient consumer protection. Cost information disclosure will not shield consumers against high out-of-pocket health care costs. In order to truly protect consumers from unanticipated high out-of-pocket costs for health care services, consumers need affordable, comprehensive health care coverage. In addition, disclosure of cost information is one factor consumers will consider when choosing health care products and services. The quality of care provided is equally important. We caution that consumers should not simply look for the lowest-cost provider if the quality of care is poor.