The requirement that insurers publicly post data on negotiated prices with providers has created excitement among researchers and policymakers. However, for many would-be users of the data (which is often referred to as Transparency in Coverage (TiC) data), that excitement has turned to disappointment. In attempting to work with the data, users have encountered significant barriers, such as large file size, extraneous and repetitive contracted price data, and a lack of context relative to utilization and geography, all of which have impeded widespread non-commercial use.
To provide a realistic sense of the user experience with the data, we here describe the results of an analytical exercise which attempts to understand contracted provider prices in the states of Michigan and Louisiana. In particular we outline barriers to access, inform efforts as how best to overcome the challenges of using the TiC data, and provide analysis that compares commercial insurance rates both between insurers as well as benchmarking these rates with other commercial and Medicare data.

Issuer Transparency Data: Limitations and Opportunities