Question: Is anything being done to control skyrocketing health care costs?
Answer: There are signs that the underlying cost of health care services, largely hidden from public view, may become more transparent. The California legislature, for example, is beginning to turn its attention to rising hospital and provider costs, and not just the rising cost of premiums. Just in time, the U.S. Justice Department announced last week that California's largest health care purchasers can proceed with an extensive study of the costs of care at more than 300 hospitals statewide. The California Hospital Association tried to block the project claiming antitrust concerns, but the Justice Department rejected the claim. Only by addressing costs throughout the health care system will the nation begin to slow the overall cost of health care and truly deliver on the promise of health care reform. Transparency remains a very important part of the equation.