Massachusetts AG: Price transparency tools don't work

Price transparency websites launched by Massachusetts health insurers aren't helping consumers shop for care or lower their healthcare expenses, the state's attorney general said in a report.

In 2012, Massachusetts health insurers were required by state law to provide consumers price estimates for medical services, according to The Boston Globe. While the tools were intended to help consumers better understand their medical costs, a report from the office of Attorney General Maura Healey found only about 2 percent to 7 percent of consumers used the web tools.

"Online pricing tools can empower consumers to make informed decisions, but our report shows that they simply aren't playing a significant role in controlling healthcare costs," Ms. Healey said in a statement to the Globe. "We need to be honest about the limitations of these tools and take this opportunity to develop better mechanisms to reduce healthcare spending while maintaining high quality."

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