Aimed at Stopping the Rise of Hospital-driven Health Costs Borne by Employers and Patients, Coalition Sets its Sights on Federal Policymakers
WASHINGTON, DC – (April 18, 2023) – Better Solutions for Healthcare, a coalition of business and healthcare industry leaders, has added national employers and healthcare industry players as it launches its federally focused campaign. National employer groups joining Better Solutions include American Benefits Council, National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, Public Sector Healthcare Roundtable and Business Group on Health. Also joining the coalition at its Washington, D.C. launch are AHIP and BlueCross BlueShield Association. The cost of employer-provided health coverage has increased by 47% in the last 10 years, with hospitals serving as the leading driver behind rising costs. The escalating cost of healthcare coverage is the No. 1 business concern as hospital prices have soared 600% since 1990. Hospital services represent the largest share of total healthcare spending, accounting for 44% of total spending for privately insured Americans.
Since 2018, Better Solutions for Healthcare has brought together local business leaders in states across the country with the goal of lowering healthcare costs and impacting health policy debates. Building on its success, the coalition’s efforts in Washington will focus on reshaping the national narrative about affordability to focus on the root causes of higher healthcare costs: anti-competitive practices including hospital consolidation and control, egregious price markups in hospital settings, the lack of price transparency by hospitals, and ensuring honest billing practices so that the hospital bills consumers pay are not marked up needlessly.
Better Solutions and its coalition partners aim to amplify the voices of those who are deeply concerned about this dangerous trend. The coalition will focus on four main areas:
● Promote Hospital Competition
● Enforce Federal Price Transparency for Hospital Charges
● Rein in Hospital Price Markups
● Ensure Honest Billing Practices by Hospitals
“Healthcare costs are creating real pain for consumers and business owners alike, and our coalition is going to make the role hospitals and health systems play top of mind for policymakers in Washington,” said Alex Schriver, executive director of Better Solutions. “Employers and health insurance providers are aligned on the most serious healthcare cost drivers. We’ve had success showing how hospital practices impact employer spending
decisions at the state level for five years. Better Solutions and our new coalition partners will advocate for federal solutions that bring healthcare costs down for employers.”
“Healthcare costs are hurting the ability of employers to compete and increase wages for workers,” said Michael Thompson, president and CEO of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions. “Affordability has become a major burden, not just for employers but for employees and their families, and without a course correction these burdens will continue to spiral out of control. Through this coalition, we are committed to an open and honest discussion that leads to more transparency, greater accountability and lower costs.”
Better Solutions will build on the common ground across business owners to advocate for impactful policy solutions that empower the private sector to prevent hospitals and health systems from gaming the system to their financial advantage, disadvantaging employers and their workforce. The coalition aims to influence the legislative landscape to support market-based policy solutions that actually lower costs and to oppose policies that raise costs.
“More than 40 cents of every healthcare dollar spent in America goes to hospitals, but this system is plagued by mismatched incentives and a lack of market competition, which result in higher costs for patients and other payers,” said Ilyse Schuman, senior vice president, health policy, for the American Benefits Council. “Employers are determined to provide affordable, high-quality health coverage for their employees, which is why the Council is proud to join the chorus of stakeholders calling for more honesty, transparency and value in hospital pricing.”
“Healthcare costs are rising at an unreasonable rate, and increased provider consolidation is decreasing competition in the healthcare system. Both hamper our ability to provide public sector employees, retirees, and their families with affordable, high-quality health coverage at a sustainable cost for their employers,” said Thomas Lussier, Administrator of the Public Sector HealthCare Roundtable. “We are excited to engage with this coalition to encourage innovation that promotes competition and cost containment for improved quality of care for workers and their families.”
The Better Solutions coalition brings together businesses of all sizes – from small, family-owned, and mid-size businesses to national employer coalitions and public-sector organizations – to educate lawmakers on the true drivers behind the rising cost of healthcare and provide market-based solutions that lower healthcare costs for Americans.
ABOUT BETTER SOLUTIONS
Better Solutions for Healthcare is a coalition focused on educating consumers, employers, and lawmakers on the rising cost of healthcare and providing ideas on how we can work together to find better solutions that lower healthcare costs for all Americans. For more information on Better Solutions for Healthcare, please visit the website or follow the campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.