Whether you have insurance or plan to pay cash - find and compare prices...
While it is easy to blame greedy pharmaceutical manufacturers, health insurers and hospital executives, the problem comes from the very nature of our confused system. Who actually benefits from these high prices and why do they persist? Is it just greed, or something endemic in the system?
One year after the hospital price transparency rule went into effect, 85 percent of hospitals are still not complying with the federal requirements to publicly post prices for services.
A new federal health care rule will require hospitals to publicly post prices for every service they offer and break down those prices by component and procedure. The idea behind the Transparency in Coverage rule is to let patients choose where to go, taking price into consideration.
Making that data available means doing a lot more than posting charge lists. It means making public the millions of prices that hospitals and insurers currently negotiate in secret. That’s the data patients really need to understand how much their trip to the hospital will cost — but right now, that’s the data that patients still don’t have access to.
Growth in hospital prices, not physician payments, is largely responsible for rising costs for inpatient and hospital-based outpatient care.
Hospital prices are the main driver of U.S. healthcare spending inflation, and that trend should direct any policy changes going forward, according to a new study.
Reporter Sarah Kliff is collecting emergency room bills as part of a year-long project focused on American health care prices.
New federally mandated disclosures by California’s Sutter Health illustrate the wide disparity in healthcare rates negotiated by insurers.
The same people who should be fixing them.
To report on the true cost of health care, it’s critical to see what a hospital charges patients. But since hospitals keep those prices a secret, I turn to the next best source: you.
America’s health care prices problem, in four charts.
While the work we have done to empower patients by increasing transparency is making great strides, we are just getting started as we work to increase price and quality transparency throughout the health care system.
Contracts with insurers allow hospitals to hide prices from consumers, add fees and discourage use of less-expensive rivals.
When and if the bean counters figure out a way that hospitals can do better without the private insurers around, it's hard to see why they wouldn't simply sweep them away faster than Amazon put an end to your local book store.
Hospitals have learned to manipulate medical codes — often resulting in mind-boggling bills.
To help consumers make apples-to-apples comparisons, hospitals will be required to go beyond the individual codes and post their negotiated rates for a list of 300 so-called “shoppable” services that consumers might examine before selecting a provider. This requires hospitals to link services that usually accompany each other, such as laboratory and pathology charges along with surgery.
And it provides numerous examples of major health insurers — some of the world’s largest companies, with billions in annual profits — negotiating surprisingly unfavorable rates for their customers. In many cases, insured patients are getting prices that are higher than they would if they pretended to have no coverage at all.
The federal government says insurers must publicly post the amounts they pay hospitals and doctors. It's another step toward price transparency in the country's complicated health care system.
Hospital price transparency helps Americans know the cost of a hospital item or service before receiving it. Starting January 1, 2021, each hospital operating in the United States will be required to provide clear, accessible pricing information online about the items and services they provide in two ways:
A surprise charge that can take advantage of vulnerable people and possibly violate consumer protection laws.
When one factors in length of stay, the average hospital charge increased the longer patients were there, and they continued to vary by age group.
Spending time in the hospital is very expensive. Rather than giving you an itemized list of everything that might go into a hospital stay, I’ll talk about something that should be almost as good: bills from a hospital, complete with final payments. That should give us a pretty good idea of the value of hospital services, since insurance companies have access to all the costs and specialize in being able to offer the minimum amount any institution is likely to accept.
Hospitals are facing the new year with new requirements to post price information they have long sought to obscure: the actual prices they negotiate with insurers and the discounts they offer their cash-paying customers. Yet there is disagreement on whether posting the prices for hospital services and procedures will actually achieve that goal.
Hospitals and other providers increasingly are offering cash prices far below what they charge through insurance.
New Hampshire has one of the most comprehensive and oldest hospital price-transparency laws in the U.S. It posts prices charged by individual hospitals for magnetic-resonance imaging, gall bladder surgery and other services on a state website in an effort to give patients information they need to shop for more affordable options.
The disclosures have helped lower costs—though not by large amounts—and only a minority of residents are taking advantage of them, according to health-care spending experts who have studied New Hampshire’s experience.
Price transparency is the wrong goal for the free-market health care structure we have in the U.S. Instead, consumers need to know not so much the price, but the costs of things.