The Philadelphia Inquirer writes of the new hospital price transparency regulation that went into effect on Jan. 1 2021, requiring hospitals to post their prices online in hopes that people will begin to comparison shop for medical care, but finds the presentation of this information is difficult for consumers to navigate.
In a review of prices posted on various hospital Websites , the Inquirer found a wide variation in price among hospitals. And in their current form, the disclosures are not consumer-friendly. The Inquirer found the hospital price presentation to be haphazard and difficult to navigate. Many hospitals require consumers to enter insurance information into their online tools in order to see prices under specific insurance plans, making the shopping process quite laborious.
They also note that price alone is not all that matters to consumers, with quality being key, but the new data posted on hospital Websites do not include quality measures.