- A new report by the National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that transparency about hospital purchasing practices may help drive down prices, Morning Consult reported.
- The finding could help hospitals improve their bargaining tactics with medical suppliers. NBER cautioned, however, that its analysis was limited to coronary stents.
- Price transparency had an estimated savings of 26%, the study concluded.
In the study, hospitals with access to peer hospitals’ purchasing information were more likely to get lower prices on supplies for which they’d been paying relatively high prices.
"We estimate that the achieved savings due to information provision amount to 26 percent of the savings we would observe if all hospitals paying above average prices for a given product at a point in time were to instead pay the average price," the study authors wrote.
The potential to realize savings is more pronounced with bulk purchase items, according to Morning Consult.
Longer-term contracts also could hurt prospective savings by preventing hospitals from renegotiating prices downward for a period of time, the report said.
However, new technologies that improve hospitals’ ability to access and use price information could make such cost savings more widespread.