43 states earn 'F' grade for healthcare price transparency

The Catalyst for Payment Reform and the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute have released their report card on price transparency laws, and the report shows little progress from the year prior.

For the report, the organizations used a 150-point scale, with 100 points available based on a state's price transparency laws and regulations. If pricing information was only available to consumers from providers, the state could earn 50 points based upon a number of factors, including the pricing information available and how the pricing information is disclosed.

If pricing information was available to consumers from payers via an all-payer claims database, the state earned 50 points based on the same factors that were considered if the information was only available directly from providers. States could also earn 50 points based on legislated price transparency websites.

Based on the rating criteria, Colorado, Maine and New Hampshire were the only states to receive an "A" grade this year. Oregon received a "B" grade, two states — Virginia and Vermont — received a "C" grade and Arkansas received a "D." The remaining 43 states earned an "F" in this year's report. Last year, 45 states earned an "F."

Most of the states' grades remained unchanged this year, with the exception of Colorado (from "B" to "A"), Maine (from "B" to "A"), Oregon (from "F" to B") and Arkansas (from "F" to "D").

"In this year's report card we find that too many states still fall far short of requiring and implementing thorough, useable transparency resources," the report authors noted. "Dozens of states have laws that refer to price transparency, but provide little to help consumers shop for and choose care, and offer little potential to move the healthcare delivery system toward quality and affordability."

The full 2016 report can be accessed here.

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