By: Carrie Sheffield featuring IWF Staff Hadley Heath Manning

Healthcare providers facing medical equipment shortages and exorbitantly high drug prices during the coronavirus outbreak are captive to kickback-receiving “middlemen” who lock up hospitals in exclusive contracts that enable price gouging and supply bottlenecks, according to a network of physician advocacy groups representing 3,000 physicians. 

Nearly 90% of U.S. mayors who responded to a national survey released Friday by the U.S. Conference of Mayors said they lack enough protective equipment for their coronavirus medical workers, and 85% said they do not have enough ventilators for their hospitals. 

Hadley Heath Manning, director of health policy at the Independent Women’s Forum, told Just the News that healthcare price transparency could help create a system that is more patient-centered and agile.

“The Coronavirus crisis is drawing attention to the strengths in our healthcare system, as well as the flaws,” said Manning. “One serious flaw is the opaque payment pipeline that often includes too many middlemen who don’t add value, but who simply raise prices. Now is as good a time as any to implement common sense price transparency measures that show us where our healthcare dollars go. When we see this more clearly, we can spend more wisely.”