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Published On Jun 10, 2015

Policy

Pricing Transparency

When it comes to the cost of treatments, hospitals struggle to give customers a straight answer.

1

Number of states that legally require private insurers to clearly post prices for medical treatments. In Massachusetts, insurers’ websites must show—in a consumer-friendly format—the updated, out-of-pocket prices individuals would pay for treatments at different providers.

 

18

Number of states with public mandated health care price websites, which don’t have Massachusetts’ mandate for clarity. 

 

2,700

Price range, in dollars, for the same MRI scan within a single geographic area. 

 

< 25

Percentage of list prices for services actually paid to hospitals in California, on average. Treatment prices are often tightly negotiated with individual insurers, which can make delivering fixed prices to consumers problematic. 

 

18.7

Percent reduction in price for an MRI examination—an average of $220—achieved by those who had the option to comparison shop for health care.   

 

9,000,000+ 

Number of payment records made available by Medicare in 2014. The records are from more than 880,000 providers and show charges and reimbursements for 100 common inpatient services and 30 common outpatient services.

 

45

Number of states receiving F grades for health care pricing transparency in early 2014, according to a joint report from Catalyst for Payment Reform and Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute. No state received an A. 

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