Braun, Baldwin to introduce bipartisan legislation for transparency in health care
This week, Sens. Mike Braun, R-Ind. and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc., introduced the Healthy Competition for Better Care Act. The Healthy Competition for Better Care Act would crack down on anti-competitive practices and make health care better for patients by ensuring that contracts between health insurance issuers and health systems do not restrict price transparency.
“Since I’ve come to Washington, I have been one of the leading voices on health care reform and have put forth many much-needed solutions to address rising prices and access challenges in the industry. The Healthy Competition for Better Care Act would put an end to anti-competitive practices and increase transparency in health systems so Americans can access services that are best suited to their needs,” Braun said.
“When large health systems engage in anticompetitive practices that restrict transparency, reduce choices, and drive up health care costs, we should do something about it. As part of my ongoing efforts to expand access to quality, affordable healthcare and lower costs, I am proud to join Senator Braun in introducing the bipartisan Healthy Competition for Better Care Act to improve care delivery and lower costs for consumers,” she said.
Specifically, the Healthy Competition for Better Care Act would:
- Allow discounts or incentives for enrollees who choose high-quality and low-cost providers;
- Allow insurers and employers to contract with the right hospitals and providers for their patients, without requirements to enter into additional contracts with other affiliated providers or hospitals;
- Allow health insurance issuers to negotiate their own rates with other providers who are not party to the contract of the provider involved
- Allow hospitals and issuers to freely negotiate prices, without requirements to pay higher amounts for items or services than other issuers have agreed to
The bill includes exceptions for certain group model issuers, including health maintenance organizations, and value-based network arrangement, such as an exclusive provider network or accountable care organization.