94% of hospitals still noncompliant with price transparency rule, study finds

Of all U.S. hospitals, just 5.6 percent are fully compliant with CMS' price disclosure rule, according to a PatientRightsAdvocate.org study reported by The Washington Post July 16.

The rule, which took effect Jan 1., aims to make hospital pricing information readily available to patients to compare costs and make more informed healthcare decisions. To aid with this, hospitals in the U.S. are required to post both a machine-readable file with the negotiated rates for all items and services and display the prices of 300 shoppable services in a consumer-friendly format. 

From May 15 to July 8, PatientRightsAdvocate.org analyzed a random sample of 500 hospital websites of the 6,002 hospitals subject to the rule. Below are five of the study's other notable findings.

  1. Eighty percent of hospitals did not publish payer-specific negotiated charges.

  2. Forty percent of hospitals published discounted cash prices.

  3. Fifty-two percent of hospitals did not publish any negotiated rates.

  4. Nineteen percent of hospitals presented 300 shoppable services in a consumer-friendly format, but a significant number of these presented incomplete data fields, making them ultimately noncompliant.

  5. Seventy-six percent of hospitals published a price estimator tool. Out of these hospitals, 11 percent of them did not allow users to see the discounted cash price.

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