Price Transparency Worsens Despite Recent Efforts | Medpage Today

Calling 120 hospitals to seek the lowest bundled price (including all hospital and physician fees) for a potential patient’s total hip arthroplasty in 2016, Safiyyah Mahomed, of Toronto General Hospital, and colleagues found that they were only given one in 6.7% of cases (down from 15.8% in 2012, OR 0.2, 95% CI 0.0-0.8).

They had more success getting a complete price by contacting the hospital and physician office separately, but even this was accomplished in just 20.8% of their attempts (down from 47.5%, OR 0.2, 95% CI 0.1-0.5). The most likely outcome, occurring in 44.2% of cases, was no price quote given over the phone at all (up from 14.2%, OR 4.6, 95% CI 2.3-10.2), according to the research letter in JAMA Internal Medicine.

“Our results provide sobering evidence that substantial efforts from government and industry to improve pricing transparency have had little tangible effect on availability of prices,” Mahomed’s group wrote.

These efforts in question range from online price calculators to laws in several states mandating that hospitals or physicians give estimates of healthcare prices in advance of providing care, according to an invited commentary by Anna Sinaiko, MPP, PhD, of Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

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Price Transparency Worsens Despite Recent Efforts | Medpage Today.