Jun 8, 2022 - Health

Most hospitals failing price transparency rule

The Capitol Building refrected on the side of an ambulance.
Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Six months after a federal price transparency rule went into effect in 2021, adherence to the rule by hospitals was low, according to new research published in JAMA on Tuesday.

Zoom in: Starting Jan. 1, 2021, the rule required hospitals to disclose five types of standard charges for all services in an accessible file, and have a consumer-friendly display for at least 300 shoppable services.

Yes, but: Only 6% of facilities covered by the rule were totally compliant.

  • Looking across roughly 5,000 hospitals, 14% of hospitals had had an adherent machine-readable file but no shoppable display.
  • About 30% had a shoppable display but no machine-readable file.
  • And more than half of hospitals had neither.

The intrigue: Acute care hospitals with less revenue per patient per day located in unconcentrated health care markets and in urban areas were more likely to be transparent.

  • "Greater scrutiny of hospitals without these characteristics may be needed to ensure hospital price transparency," the authors said.
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