So you need surgery? Good luck figuring out what the process will cost you.
Not one of eight hospitals in California, including Stanford Hospital and UCSF Helen Diller Medical Center in Parnassus Heights, have been analyzed. new report A price transparency rule is followed by the nonprofit Patient Rights Advocate (PRA), which requires medical centers to post standard fees and other information online so that patients can more easily track their health care costs. Can you
The report found that only 5.6 per cent of 500 hospitals across the country fully comply with the rule, which came into force in January.
“These findings align with previous research, showing that hospitals use incomplete information, cumbersome access restrictions, codes to block prices from appearing on search engines, and mobile app developers and patients to inhibit access. Weakening rules with tools,” wrote the author.
Most of the hospitals studied comply with parts of the rule, but many do not post or only partially disclose the negotiated prices associated with all plans and payers they accept. They often fail to publish a complete list of discounted cash prices for those who pay without going through the insurance company.
To compile the report, the nonprofit reviewed a random sample of 500 hospital websites between May and July with the findings reviewed by a health care value data company called Firelight Health LLC.
According to the report, Stanford and UCSF have price estimation tools that provide cash value, but hospitals do not post a full standard fee file or a required list of 300 common purchasable services that cost blood tests and X-rays. Covering everything from Biopsy and Cesarean section, among other items.
In a statement, UCSF said it is “committed to helping patients and their families make informed decisions about every aspect of their care, including the costs associated with their care.”
UCSF said estimates of 300 purchasable services are included in its price estimator tool, but said requiring hospitals to post standard fees for various procedures and treatments is “challenging” because some of its contracts include fixed prices. Instead, the cost of a particular service depends on what other services are provided.
The health center said it encourages patients with questions about potential fees to contact UCSF for personalized estimates.
Stanford said in a statement, “Stanford Health Care recognizes the importance of price transparency to our patients. An updated list of standard charges is available on the Stanford Health Care website, as well as a list of standard charges in machine-readable format. And a link to our patient cost-estimator tool is also available.
In the report, the PRA called for harsher penalties for non-compliance, now at $300 per hospital day, for requiring actual prices instead of only estimates and other corrections.
The report comes days after the Biden administration unveiled executive Order Aiming to boost competition in the US economy, the Department of Health and Human Services, led by former California Attorney General Javier Becerra, called on the Department of Health and Human Services to “enact bipartisan federal legislation to support existing hospital price transparency rules and address surprising hospital billing.” Calls to terminate the implementation.”
a new study Published Tuesday in JAMA found that unpaid medical bills have become the largest source of debt Americans owe to collection agencies between 2009 and 2020, with agencies racking up a whopping $140 billion in unpaid medical bills last year alone. was part.