Only one in four U.S. hospitals provide full transparency on prices, Patient Rights Advocate report says.
Only about one in four hospitals are fully complying with federal price transparency rules, according to a new report.
Patient Rights Advocate says it reviewed 2,000 hospitals and found 24.5% of them are fully complying with the Hospital Price Transparency Rule. The organization released the report Monday.
The report suggests varying levels of compliance. Slightly more than half of the hospitals surveyed (51.3%) listed negotiated prices associated with payers and plans, the advocacy group says.
However, the report said even among the 1,025 hospitals that listed some pricing information, roughly half of those providers still failed compliance because some pricing information was incomplete or missing, according to the report.
Several large health systems didn’t have a single hospital in full compliance, including HCA Healthcare, Tenet Healthcare, Providence, UPMC, UnityPoint Health, the advocacy group says.
The report said 5.8% of the hospitals examined didn’t provide any pricing data. Patient Rights Advocate says it reviewed data from hospital websites from December 10, 2022 through January 26, 2023.
The group also says more hospitals are listing pricing information in large and unwieldy files, rather than smaller files consumers can easily read.
This is Patient Rights Advocate’s fourth report on pricing transparency. In its previous report in August 2022, the group said 16% of hospitals were fully complying with the federal rules.
Other estimates have yielded different results on hospital price transparency, as Axios reports.
Turquoise Health published a report in October that found 65% of hospitals it examined published “robust negotiated rates.”
Hospitals and health systems are doing their best to comply with federal regulations regarding price transparency, the American Hospital Association says. In a June 2022 state, the association said it “strongly cautions against buying into misguided ‘assessments’ of hospital compliance with the price transparency rule.
“Hospitals are working hard to provide accurate financial estimates for patients,” the association said last June. “This is challenging work and requires consideration of both hospital rates and patients’ health care coverage.”
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services says it will take action against hospitals that aren’t complying with the rule. CMS issued its first fine of a hospital system for failing to comply in June 2022, when the agency fined the Northside Hospital system in Atlanta, Ga. more than $1 million.
Some lawmakers in Congress are paying attention to price transparency. U.S. Reps. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., wrote a letter asking the Government Accountability Office to examine hospital compliance.
“We are concerned with continuing reports of low hospital compliance and some hospitals’ complete lack of compliance,” the lawmakers wrote. “We are also troubled by reports that some hospitals disclosing their prices are making it difficult for consumers to access the price information.”