Empowering Health Care Consumers
Price transparency is a fundamental step on the path toward a more affordable and equitable health care system, where consumers have the information they need to make health care decisions and be partners in their care.
This NYHealth-funded report from Manatt Health looks at how hospitals in New York State have responded to a federal price transparency rule that took effect in January 2021. The rule requires hospitals to publish online the standard charges for their services, providing the information in two ways: (1) machine-readable files for all hospital services and (2) consumer-friendly displays of 300 common “shoppable” services.
The study looked at implementation as an incremental process and focused on how well hospitals were meeting the spirit of the law with respect to key requirements. In the first six months of implementation of the rule, it found that New York hospitals were slower to meet the machine-readable file requirements than the shoppable service requirements: 69% of hospitals sampled had only partially implemented the machine-readable requirement, while 69% had implemented the shoppable services requirement.
The report also highlights examples of effective early approaches to price transparency that may serve as models for hospitals that are further behind in implementation.
The most effective examples of machine-readable files were those that made it easy for a broad range of audiences (e.g., consumers, researchers, data aggregators, app developers, and competitors) to find hospital pricing information that is comprehensive, accurate, and comparable across the industry. In the case of shoppable services, the most effective implementation included a consumer-friendly online price estimator tool to help individual consumers shop for services based on price.