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Oregon Moves a Step Closer to Price Transparency for Common Hospital Procedures

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A bill (SB 900)  requiring the setting up of a hospital price transparency Website, passed the Oregon legislature and was signed into law in August 2015.  The bill directs the state to set up a user-friendly website that displays median prices for the most common inpatient and outpatient hospital procedures, as paid by commercial insurers, giving Oregonians a clearer view of the cost of care. Currently, Oregon receives an “F” on the Catalyst for Payment Reform Price Transparency scorecard. In the Catalyst for Payment Reform 50 state report card on price transparency laws in 2015, New Hampshire received an A grade and both Maine and Colorado receive a B grade.  Vermont and Virginia received a C grade and all other states, including Oregon receiving an F grade.

Notes from the Price Transparency Scorecard::
A Grade: New Hampshire released its NH HealthCost price transparency Website for both insured and uninsured patients: http://nhhealthcost.nh.gov/
B Grade: Colorado released a public price transparency Website containing price information for episodes of care, however the Website is still in early stage, with pricing data only available for maternity care, hip replacement and knee replacement.  The site also indicates information may not be consistent across hospitals in some cases: public price transparency Website: https://www.comedprice.org/
F Grade: Massachusetts’ grade dropped due to shutting down MyHealthCareOptions, the website that had publicly posted price information.

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