SOURCE: National Business Group on Health

August 23, 2006 12:40 ET

National Business Group on Health Applauds President's Executive Order to Promote Health Care Price and Quality Transparency

WASHINGTON, DC -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 23, 2006 -- The National Business Group on Health (The Business Group) applauds yesterday's action by President Bush to make health care price and quality information from federal health programs available to program participants and the public. Because the government is the major purchaser of health care in the country and has a wealth of information, consumers will be able to evaluate and compare physicians' and hospitals' performance, with the ultimate goal of improving the quality and efficiency of care. The Business Group, which represents over 245 large employers dedicated to solving the health care cost and quality crisis in the U.S., fully supports the President's effort and looks forward to continuing to work with the government to implement it.

The Business Group believes that all health care providers and facilities should publicly disclose, in a user-friendly format, all relevant information about the relative price, quality, safety, and efficiency of health care as well as any other information that may impact care decisions. The Business Group's complete position statement is available at this link: http://www.businessgrouphealth.org/pdfs/transparencypositionstatement.pdf

In applauding the Executive Order, Helen Darling, President of The Business Group, said, "It is a huge deal. As the largest purchaser of health care in the world, (at least in terms of dollar volume) whatever the federal government does drives the market. Employers have long wanted for these things -- advanced HIT, interoperability, transparency, the right data to measure quality and safety, etc -- so having the largest purchaser insist on these standards as a condition of doing business is what we have wanted for a long time. These actions will make all of the difference in the world. We need to join together to collaborate for the nation's interest to ensure quality, patient safety, efficiency and affordability."

"It's the catalyst we've been waiting for to encourage people to shop for providers who offer higher quality and better prices. Transparency is our top public policy issue because it underpins employers' efforts to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and affordability of health care," said Steven Wojcik, Vice President, Public Policy, of The Business Group.

About the National Business Group on Health

The National Business Group on Health, representing 245 large employers, is the nation's only non-profit organization devoted exclusively to finding innovative and forward-thinking solutions to large employers' most important health care and related benefits issues. The Business Group identifies and shares best practices in health benefits, disability, health and productivity, related paid time off and work/life balance issues. Business Group members, primarily Fortune 500 and large public sector employers, provide health coverage for more than 55 million U.S. workers, retirees and their families.

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