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A push for states to adopt a new ‘competition policy’

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An article in governing.com recommends that the states take on America’s dysfunctional healthcare “system” through a new “competition policy.”

“State executive agencies, legislatures and attorneys general would play a more critical role than they do today, from adopting policies that encourage new competitors and ensuring transparency on quality and cost to preventing anticompetitive practices.”

Among the authors’ specific recommendations:

To remove barriers and promote entry for new competitors, states should eliminate certificate-of-need regulations, which require government permission for a health-care facility to be built or expanded, as well as ‘any willing provider’ laws that require insurers to contract with any provider willing to accept the network’s terms. States also should amend their criteria for scope-of-practice decisions, the actions a practitioner can take within the terms of a professional license; the only justification for restricting scope of practice should be the safety of the public. States should not issue certificates of public advantage that, in shielding providers from federal antitrust action, impose oversight on provider collaborations and mergers. Finally, state licensing boards should facilitate practices that promote competition and innovation.”

And:

States should create and make public a core set of quality measures, and they also should give consumers the tools to compare costs by making public the total amounts paid to providers for various procedures. This could take the form of all-payer claims databases or a national claims data repository that utilizes common data elements and a common format. Insurers should be required to disclose out-of-pocket costs for health services that enrollees are considering. ”

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