Consortium of Health Care Organizations Announces Establishment of Project Clarity, a Cross-industry Workgroup to Expand Use of Price Transparency Information

Designed to promote healthcare industry collaboration and consensus on price transparency frameworks that encourage consumer-focused delivery reform

ARLINGTON, Va. & WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Project Clarity, a multi-stakeholder workgroup of organizations spanning the healthcare ecosystem, today announced a draft set of open provisional service packages that were developed in consensus to offer voluntary technical and definitional frameworks for implementing price transparency regulations made by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

While recent price transparency regulations require both hospitals and payers to publish negotiated rates, there is a gap in the usability of this information, especially in developing “apples to apples” definitions for episodes of care, which would allow consumers to compare price and quality information across organizations. Today, Project Clarity published the first draft set of 10 episode definitions, presented as “open service packages” with their corresponding technical definitions for industry and consumer advocates to provide feedback.

“I’m particularly grateful for the technical teams at the Health Care Cost Institute, (Patient-centered Episode System (PACES), and Turquoise Health for developing these initial episodes, demonstrating collaboration works in voluntary consensus efforts,” noted Aneesh Chopra, CareJourney President and former U.S. Chief Technology Officer in the Obama Administration.

“Lifting the veil on health care prices is one of the most patient-oriented reforms of the past half century. Requiring hospitals and health insurance companies to disclose what they charge unleashes competitive forces that drive down costs and increase quality,” said Seema Verma, former CMS Administrator. “We have an opportunity to finally empower patients with the information they need to make more informed decisions, including prices for 500 ‘shoppable services’ – from maternity care to prescription drugs. Moreover, publicly posting prices helps transform American health care by accelerating the transition to the bundled savings model and value-based care. Through Project Clarity, the healthcare sector is collaborating on the front end to create an integrated framework for a system that truly delivers on the promise of price transparency.”

Project Clarity was organized by Seema Verma, former CMS Administrator; Niyum Gandhi, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer at Mass General Brigham; Aneesh Chopra, former CTO under President Obama and President of CareJourney; and Ryan Howells, Principal at Leavitt Partners and Executive Director of the CARIN Alliance, to convene industry stakeholders to publish industry consensus on standard service packages that will allow consumers to more easily compare price and quality information for healthcare services. Initially, Project Clarity will focus on 10 commonly billed service packages and will add additional packages in coming months. Project Clarity’s founding members span the healthcare industry, representing healthcare information technology, integrated hospital systems, health policy, healthcare consulting, at-home care, and mental healthcare organizations, including: Turquoise Health, The Health Care Cost Institute, PACES, and Mass General Brigham.

“We believe the opportunity for consumers to better understand pricing by the industry voluntarily adopting open industry service packages that consumers can compare across health systems is going to revolutionize the way individuals and employers seek and pay for health care services,” said Ryan Howells, Principal at Leavitt Partners. “We have dozens of consumer-facing applications we work with inside the CARIN Alliance, who are focused on delivering value to individuals by empowering them with more digital access to the data. Project Clarity will help those applications deliver more value and better decision making to individuals and their families.”

“We have an obligation as an industry to come together to support payers and health systems and to collaborate and come up with common frameworks, standards, and definitions to increase clarity for our patients and members,” said Niyum Gandhi, Treasurer at Mass General Brigham.

All stakeholders are encouraged to visit Projectclarity.health to learn more, provide feedback on the initial set of open service packages, and if desired, indicate their desire to get involved in the project.

About Project Clarity

Project Clarity is a workgroup of healthcare industry stakeholders that span the healthcare ecosystem, with goals to publish industry consensus on standard healthcare service packages, or episodes of care, which will allow consumers to more easily compare price and quality information for healthcare services. Founding members represent organizations in healthcare information technology, integrated hospital systems, health policy, healthcare consulting, at-home care and mental healthcare.

Contacts

Media:
CareJourney: [email protected]
Leavitt Partners: [email protected]

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