Report: 29 States Earn "F" in Healthcare Price Transparency

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Healthcare prices have been an enigma within the U.S. healthcare system for many years now, and a report from the Catalyst for Payment Reform and the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute quantifies how a majority of states fail to enact comprehensive healthcare price transparency laws.

CPR and HCI3 reviewed state-specific laws focused on price transparency for healthcare, and they graded each state on pricing information available in various avenues (e.g., in a public report, public website, etc.) and the scope of information available.

The groups gave an "F" grade to 29 states, including seven states that have zero price transparency laws. An additional seven states received "D" grades, meaning an overwhelming majority of states do not offer consumers adequate information on healthcare prices. Only two states — Massachusetts and New Hampshire — garnered "A" grades.

"Healthcare costs continue to rise, and consumers are increasingly being required to take on a growing share of those costs," Suzanne Delbanco, executive director of CPR, said in a news release. "In this environment, it is only fair and logical to ensure that consumers have the information they need about quality and cost to make informed decisions about where to seek care. There is definitely a role for public policy and state legislation to support these efforts."

This report comes on the heels of several others from the two groups, including ones on how hospital consolidation may increase prices, how there is wide variance in the prices and costs of different healthcare procedures and how Cesarean sections waste billions in healthcare costs every year.

More Articles on Hospitals and Price Transparency:

5 Issues Hospital CFOs Must Focus on in 2013
Legislation May Require Wyoming Hospitals to Post Prices Online
Major Companies to Hospitals, Health Insurers: "Give Us Your Price Data"

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