A far-reaching effort to establish a national standard for healthcare prices is likely to put additional pressure on hospitals and other providers to “come clean” about what they charge.

The pricing initiative is the brainchild of Dr. David Newman, executive director of the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI), a non-partisan, non-profit organization supported by several major health insurers including Aetna, Humana, Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare. The institute’s mission is “improving the U.S. health system by creating comprehensive data infrastructure and analytics.” Since 2007, HCCI has held the annual claims data for 50 million Americans.

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