Smart Talk: Hospital price transparency

Consumers now have cost information with new federal rule

 

David Goldman / AP Photo

FILE- In this Feb. 9, 2018, file photo, a radiology technician looks at a chest X-ray of a child suffering from flu symptoms at Upson Regional Medical Center in Thomaston, Ga.

Last year, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services enacted a rule requiring hospitals to make public their standard charges for the procedures and services they provide.

That rule went into effect in January.

Proponents see the publication of the lists as a first step toward price transparency. However, health systems say those price lists aren’t a good way for people to shop around for services.

WITF’s Transforming Health reporter Brett Sholtis  appeared on Smart Talk Thursday to discuss the effect of the regulation.

Key points

1:20 – Information available to consumers

4:00 – Price transparency and senior program officer Andrea Ducas statement

11:00 – Quantifying quality

 

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Hospitals now must list their prices, but shopping around might be more confusing than helpful