WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- A new report released by PatientRightsAdvocate.org (PRA) found that a majority of hospitals continue to hide their actual prices from consumers more than two years after the Hospital Price Transparency Rule went into effect.
The latest Semi-Annual Hospital Price Transparency Compliance Report from PRA focused on the nation's largest hospitals systems and found that only 24.5% of the 2,000 hospitals reviewed were fully complying with the hospital transparency rule that went into effect on January 1, 2021. The price transparency law was intended to foster a functional competitive market in healthcare, allowing consumers to benefit from competition and, through choice, lower their costs of both care and coverage. Unfortunately, PRA's latest report indicates that the majority of consumers are still unable to benefit from the rule.
PatientRightsAdvocate.org previously released three reports, the last in August 2022 ,which showed 16% of hospitals were in compliance.
"Hospitals are required by law to clearly show all of their actual upfront prices," said Cynthia Fisher, Founder and Chairman of PatientsRightsAdvocate.org. "The only way to lower the cost of healthcare is to empower all consumers, unions, and workers who purchase plans to have the information needed to shop for care and coverage. Real prices protect consumers and let them fight overcharges and have recourse against errors, upcoding, and fraud."
The new analysis of 2,000 hospitals across the United States found:
Only 489 (24.5%) were fully compliant with the rule.
116 hospitals (5.8%) did not post any usable standard charges file and were in total noncompliance.
Compliance varied widely among the largest hospital systems in the country:
None (0%) of the hospitals reviewed which were owned by HCA Healthcare, Tenet Healthcare, Christus Health, Providence, Bon Secours Mercy Health, UPMC, Mercy Health, UnityPoint Health, and Avera Health were found to be compliant.
58% of hospitals reviewed that are owned by CommonSpirit Health and 73% of hospitals reviewed that are owned by LifePoint Health were found to be complying.
There was a significant increase in the number of hospital pricing files that are 1GB or larger, making it difficult for researchers, technology innovators, and consumers to download, although many large hospitals have created compliant files less than 200MB in size.
"Systemwide Healthcare Price Transparency has the power to truly transform our healthcare system, but only if the rule is enforced and if hospitals comply," said Fisher. "Price discovery makes hospitals and insurance carriers compete on prices, quality, and outcome metrics, and ultimately lowers the costs of care and coverage."
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