36% of hospitals complying with price transparency rule, survey finds

A PatientRightsAdvocate.org report published July 20 found that only 721 (36 percent) of the 2,000 hospitals examined were fully complying with the price transparency rule, up slightly from 24.5 percent compliance in February. 

Six things to know:

1. Sixty-nine hospitals did not post any usable standard charges file and were in total noncompliance.

2. Although 1,228 (61.4 percent) of hospitals posted negotiated prices clearly associated with payers and plans, 507 of the 1,228 (41.3 percent) were noncompliant due to missing or incomplete pricing data.

3. Compliance varied widely among the largest health systems reviewed.

4. Nashville, Tenn.-based HCA Healthcare, the largest system in the U.S., did not have a single fully compliant hospital, with a significant amount of its hospitals posting illegible, nonconforming files, according to the report. 

5. No hospitals owned by HCA, Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare, Renton, Wash.-based Providence Health, Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Avera Health,, Pittsburgh-based UPMC, Dallas-based Baylor Scott & White Health or St. Louis-based Mercy were compliant, according to PatientRightsAdvocate.org.

6. Eighty-eight percent of hospitals owned by Chicago-based CommonSpirit, 97 percent of hospitals owned by Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems and 98 percent of hospitals owned by Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente compliant, the report found.

"Unfortunately, our findings show that the majority of hospitals across the country are still failing to comply with the hospital price transparency Rule," Cynthia Fisher, founder and chair of PatientsRightsAdvocate.org, said. "When hospitals hide behind estimates or don't post all real prices, they are leaving consumers in the dark. Making all actual prices available upfront will empower patients, employers and unions to choose the best care at prices they know they can afford, and protect all Americans from overcharges, errors and fraud."

Click here to access the compliance report.

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