According to a new report by the Vermont State Auditor’s Office (SAO), the ability for Vermonters to compare pricing and quality for health care procedures is still a work-in-progress. The report, Health Care Price Transparency Part II: Act 54 and Beyond, examined the current state of health care price and quality transparency for consumers in Vermont, and reviewed best practices for healthcare transparency initiatives derived from an SAO literature review. This report followed on from a State Auditor’s Office’s (SAO) 2014 report, Opportunities for Health Care Price Transparency and Greater Consumer Information, which found strong evidence to suggest that it would be feasible for the State or a third party to use VHCURES to provide consumers with greater price transparency. Findings from the 2016 report show that the approximately 30,000 uninsured Vermont residents must rely on publicly available information that does not provide health care price information specific to them and their families, or must turn to third-party providers of health care price and quality information that provide similarly incomplete price and quality information. Nevertheless, publicly available price information highlights the significant price discrepancies in charges for medical services across the state. For example, the most expensive listed charge for an appendectomy in Vermont is at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, at $24,063, which is $8,867 more than the $15,196 charge at Copley Hospital, forty-one miles away.
- Health Care Price Transparency Part II: Act 54 and Beyond, Office of the Vermont State Auditor. (PDF). Office of the Vermont State Auditor. (PDF)
- Opportunities for Health Care Price Transparency and Greater Consumer Information (PDF)