Tags: healthcare | states | hidden | costs

Most States Let Medical Providers Keep Costs Hidden

By    |   Thursday, 21 March 2013 07:55 AM

Americans are being forced to pay a growing share of their own medical costs, but most states allow hospitals and other providers to keep costs hidden until they send out a bill, according to a joint report from two non-profit groups.

The report gives 29 states an “F” and seven states a “D” for having policies that allow patients and their families to be kept in the dark on prices.

The need for price transparency is urgent because nearly two-thirds of all large employers now offer a high deductible co-insurance health plan to their workers, according to the report from the Catalyst for Payment Reform and the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute.

Editor's Note: Economist Warns: ‘Money From Heaven a Path to Hell.’ See Evidence.

“In this environment, it is only fair and logical to ensure that consumers have the necessary quality and price information to make informed decisions about where to seek healthcare,” the study said.

But instead, the price for an identical medical procedure within a market “can vary seven-fold with no demonstrable difference in quality,” according to the report.

Kaiser Health News reported most consumers are not aware of the variation in medical prices for the same procedure.

“For instance, prices for knee replacements in the same California market can range from $15,000 to more than $100,000, depending on the hospital, with no discernible difference in quality,” Kaiser said.

The Catalyst for Payment Reform is a consortium of major companies and labor unions including GE, Wal-Mart, Boeing and the AFL-CIO, plus California pension provider CALpers, and the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute is a non-profit group seeking to improve healthcare with evidence-based incentive programs.

According to the report, Americans cannot make informed medical decisions without being able to comparison shop for price and quality.

“Consumers deserve to have as much information about the price of their healthcare as they do about restaurants, cars and household prices,” the report said.

Only two states, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, earned an “A” on the study’s report card. Large states with failing “F” grades included Georgia, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania. California and Florida each received a “D.”

The study measured the level of price transparency among states by whether they required hospitals and other providers to provide pricing to consumers upon request, whether they made it available in publicly available reports or on their websites and whether they reported their prices to the states themselves.

Time Magazine dedicated an entire issue earlier this month to the high prices changed by U.S. health care providers. In it, Time said the nation now spends 20 percent of gross domestic product — an estimated $2.8 trillion for 2013 — on healthcare.

Editor's Note: Economist Warns: ‘Money From Heaven a Path to Hell.’ See Evidence.

© 2019 Newsmax Finance. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Markets
Americans are being forced to pay a growing share of their own medical costs, but most states allow hospitals and other providers to keep costs hidden until they send out a bill, according to a joint report from two non-profit groups.
healthcare,states,hidden,costs
459
2013-55-21
Thursday, 21 March 2013 07:55 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
MONEYNEWS.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved