Price competition in health care: The fee hand of the market at work.
Jackson spokesmen say the financially strapped system can’t reveal how much it pays (for big-ticket medical equipment-ed.) because it has signed contracts with vendors that include clauses that call the prices “trade secrets.”
Such “trade secret” clauses are standard in the medical world and exempt from public records laws, they say. But the secrecy means that Jackson can’t compare its prices to what many other hospitals pay. That’s like a consumer going to buy a flat-screen TV and not knowing what others are paying for the same brand, said Curtis Rooney, president of the Health Industry Group Purchasing Association. “We call them gag clauses. … People can’t find out the best price.”
It is to laugh.