Some Hospitals Frustrated With CMS Rule Requiring Them To Post Prices As Experts Say It Won’t Help Cut Consumers’ Costs
"The unfortunate thing is that for most consumers, because it's standard charges not related to their coverage, it's not that helpful," Rick Gundling, senior vice president of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, told Modern Healthcare. "It was an exercise that doesn't add a lot of value to the consumer."
Hospitals Vary In Publishing CMS Chargemaster Prices
Price transparency stumbled out of the gate last week as hospitals complied with a new CMS requirement to publish their lengthy list of retail charges for individual services and diagnosis-related groups in online spreadsheets by the first of the year. Some hospitals, such Northwestern Memorial in Chicago, posted a link to their charges right on their home pages. Most others, such as HCA's Aventura Hospital, posted the data deeper inside their websites, requiring a search and multiple clicks. One system, MedStar, said it won't post the information until next week because it's still working to ensure accuracy and clarity. (Meyer, 1/7)
In other news on health care costs —
The Baltimore Sun:
Americans Pay Top Prices For Health Care And The Bill Keeps Rising
Americans are spending more than twice as much for health care than people in other developed countries and more than double what they used to spend, a new batch of figures from the Johns Hopkins University shows. Despite efforts to curb costs, the amount spent per person in the United States was $9,892 in 2016, 117 percent more than the tally in 2000 when researchers at Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health first collected such spending data. (Cohn, 1/7)
ER Bills Are Expensive. And Secretive.
A lot of us — probably most of us — will end up in an emergency room at some point in our lives. But what's less certain is exactly how much that ER visit is going to cost us. Vox senior policy correspondent Sarah Kliff took a deep dive into ER billing, then she wrote about it on Twitter. (McHenry, 1/7)