Transparency is K-I-N-G: Redux

Lots of “transparency” items on the interweb recently. Promoting this discussion is always a good thing.

“As more of the responsibility for health care is pushed down to individuals through insurance products like high-deductible health plans and health savings accounts, more and better information — and access to it — becomes critical. Patients and families can become smarter consumers, capable of exerting market pressures that improve quality and lower cost, if given the chance,” writes Christopher Parks in a Tennessean editorial. He continues, “What is needed is greater transparency” (emphasis mine).

Parks is the co-founder of change:healthcare, an organization dedicated to transparency. “The company is charged with developing and providing people with the tools and information they need to make the best decisions possible as a healthcare consumer.”

Another take on transparency, although decidedly more pro-transparency for the organization’s sake of which I have blogged here before.

InsureBlog has a recent transparency update as well.

But it seems this news item really got the transparency debate going. What, you say does Facebook have to do with transparency in health care? Plenty…

APM’s Marketplace brings us this great commentary: “It’s a transparent society, so get naked” by teen CEO (futile attempt at word creation) Ben Casnocha.

Will universal transparency happen in health care in the next few years? Let’s hope so, but probably not. But I can tell you it will happen when the Facebook and MySpace crowd is in charge. It’s the world we’ve grown up in. It’s what we know.

As Mr. Casnocha says:

And transparency isn’t all-or-nothing. Today’s networks have detailed privacy settings you control. As blogger Jeff Jarvis has put it, “Publicness is good so long as we decide how public we want to be.” Like it or not, the transparent society is here.

Most of my friends are out on the Web, where we tell the world who we are and what we think. Those who are still fully clothed shouldn’t be surprised if folks start asking, “What are you trying to hide?”

Only the question will be: what’s your hospital trying to hide?

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