Hospital Price Transparency Gets a Boost by PatientRightsAdvocate.org

Hospital Price Transparency Gets a Boost by PatientRightsAdvocate.org

The July 2023 Compliance Report from PatientRightsAdvocate.org revealed that just 36 percent of the nation's largest 2,000 hospitals fully complied with the Hospital Price Transparency Rule mandated in January 2021.

PatientRightsAdvocate.org (PRA), a leading non-profit organization championing the cause of healthcare price transparency in America, launched Hospital Price Files Finder, a freely available dashboard tool containing pricing files for 6,000 hospitals nationwide. It is a searchable tool containing all available hospital pricing files in spreadsheets that are human and machine-readable, converted from the original format as necessary.

The organization’s mission is to strengthen existing price transparency laws, ensure forthcoming price transparency rules are implemented and enforced in a timely manner, inform consumers of their right to actual prices and call on patients and employers to step up and exercise this right by demanding actual prices before care. The Hospital Price Files Finder is a leap forward in this direction.

What Led to the Creation of the Hospital Price Files Finder?

The July 2023 Compliance Report from PRA revealed that just 36 percent of the nation’s largest 2,000 hospitals fully complied with the Hospital Price Transparency Rule mandated in January 2021. As per the rule, all hospitals are required by law to publish a machine-readable pricing file for all items and services offered, including negotiated rates by payer and plan and the discounted cash price.

In their fight for healthcare price transparency, PRA gathered and analyzed publicly available price transparency data from 6,000 US hospitals to provide all Americans with transparent and accessible information about actual hospital prices.

Related: How Turquoise Health is Making Healthcare Pricing Data Meaningful

What Are the Benefits?

This tool enables consumers to make informed comparisons of prices across various insurance plans and discounted cash prices within the same hospital and hospitals within a specific geographic region. The dashboard also allows the user to assess and parse each hospital’s file when pricing information has been made available.

Additionally, PRA has provided the Hospital Price Files Finder tool to Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with the hope of expediting enforcement of the Hospital Price Transparency Rule which has failed to make an impact even after three years.

Future Insights into Hospital Price Files Finder

When all hospitals and insurers disclose actual prices at every point of care, consumers can shop and compare. This transparency will give Americans financial certainty, reducing the tendency to postpone necessary healthcare. The price comparison tool can enable increased competition, potentially reducing costs for both care and coverage.

Potential uses of this tool for technology developers include crafting price comparison tools that empower various stakeholders — consumers, patients, employers, unions and government plans — to compare and select the most favorable prices. It can also provide avenues for redress and recourse in overcharges, billing errors and fraud.

“With system-wide price transparency, the savings employers will realize will allow them to create more jobs and pay higher wages, providing a substantial stimulus to the US economy. We invite you to embrace this opportunity and use this tool to help realize the critical goal of complete healthcare price transparency for a healthier America, both physically and financially,” states the letter PRA founder and chairman Cynthia Fisher sent to HHS secretary Xavier Becerra.

Other Organizations that Specialize in Providing Hospital Price Transparency Data

Several companies provide healthcare price information so that the consumers can compare prices for healthcare products and procedures. The leading companies include Clear Heath Costs, Change Healthcare, Castlight Health, Healthsparq, Amino Health and Turquoise Health.