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July May Be a Watershed Month for Medical Cost Control

July may become a milestone month for controlling medical costs. It has taken over a decade since it was first envisioned in the ACA, but finally rules are coalescing to compel transparency across industry. That is significant because the medical industry has grown uniquely and increasingly opaque since the middle of the last century.

On July 1, insurance companies and self-insured employers were required to post data on payments for all medical services provided to the public, and there are significant penalties for non-compliance. Private companies are already massaging the petabytes of data, and insurers must provide tools for consumers to find and compare costs next year.

The data compliments similar data that hospitals started reporting last year, and importantly, increases penalties for non-compliance.

Should this Medicare Drug Bill move forward it will tackle the 3rd significant part of the cost problem. In this case, pricing was already available, but pricing power was heavily skewed to drug companies. That would begin to change.

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