Better Solutions for Healthcare

Modern Healthcare: System-affiliated, not-for-profit hospitals more likely to share price data

By Mari Devereaux

June 23, 2021

Less than one-fourth of hospitals were fully compliant with federal price transparency regulations in early 2021, according to new data.

A study by University of Minnesota School of Public Health faculty found that only 23.7% of hospitals reported all required data on service rates in both machine-readable and consumer-shoppable formats. CMS’ Hospital Price Transparency Rule, which went into effect on Jan. 1, requires hospitals to publish information about the prices they charge for inpatient and outpatient services, as well as the rates negotiated with various private insurers.

Jean Abraham, the lead author of the study and professor in the division of Health Policy and Management at the University of Minnesota, said the research team focused on whether or not hospitals published all prices for their services in a machine-readable format and gave a list of 300 “shoppable services” for consumers to access in a simple format like an interactive price estimator tool.

The study ran from Jan. 13 to Feb. 3 and looked at a nationally representative sample of 470 hospitals.

Around 25% of hospitals reported all required data elements in a machine-readable format, and 73.5% reported data in a consumer-shoppable format.

System affiliated and private, not-for-profit hospitals were more likely to provide data in a consumer-friendly format than independent and public hospitals. For profit-hospitals were more likely to comply with the rule than public hospitals.