Survey shows Texas businesses want action on lowering health care costs

The Texas Association of Business (TAB) announced the results of a statewide poll last week that found over 85% of businesses surveyed were opposed to any legislation that would raise the cost of employer-sponsored health care coverage and supported laws that require providers to publicly disclose prices. 

 

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According to the survey, a majority of businesses also want to maintain lower-cost prescriptions for their employees through pharmacies that are either in-network or affiliated with Pharmacy Benefit Managers. 

Most Texas businesses indicated that they want less regulations and more autonomy for employers to design and offer their own employee health benefits. 

Upon the release of its survey data, TAB announced it will support any legislation in the coming session that addresses high health care costs and support for small businesses. 

“Employers are the largest providers of health insurance in the state and bear the burden of policies that drive up the cost of coverage,” said Glenn Hamer, TAB President & CEO. “As businesses face inflationary costs on multiple fronts, what employers need now are policies that give them the flexibility to control health care costs, not new mandates that make health insurance more expensive for everyone.”

Rand Corporation published a study on hospital pricing to help employers compare hospital prices using a single metric to track trends and assess the value of hospitals in their market. 

“Although existing price transparency tools provide a multitude of service-specific prices, they do not easily identify higher- and lower-priced providers for broad baskets of services,” the report reads. “This absence of easily interpretable price rankings limits the ability of employers to knowledgeably develop or implement benefit design decisions.”

It found that employers and private insurers paid Texas Health Resources, the Dallas-Fort Worth region’s largest health care provider, an average of 332% of Medicare rates in 2020 for health coverage. Meanwhile, CMS gave Texas Health an average rating of 3 out of 5 stars for 7 of its largest hospitals in its evaluation of overall hospital care.