According to a new study, Indiana hospitals rank fourth highest in the nation for making hospital prices transparent to consumers. The study claims that more than half of U.S. hospitals have not complied with recent federal regulations requiring hospitals to disclose their prices online to help consumers shop for medical care and prevent unexpected bills for patients. Indiana hospitals, however, ranked extremely high in price transparency, the authors found.
“Despite the tremendous strain on our health care system, Indiana hospitals have worked tirelessly to make prices more affordable and transparent for Hoosiers," said Brian Tabor, president of the Indiana Hospital Association (IHA).
The study shows Washington DC hospitals ranked the highest in making prices most accessible to consumers, followed by Hawaii, Rhode Island, Indiana, and Michigan.
“I am not surprised to see Indiana recognized as a national leader in transparency," said Tabor. “IHA undertook an internal educational campaign and provided technical assistance to our members to help achieve compliance. Despite the challenges they face today, I am proud to report that we believe every single hospital in Indiana is compliant with state and federal price transparency regulations, and we've taken it a step further by creating our own online consumer resource."
The IHA announced this past fall a new update to mycareINsight.org, a tool it created in 2015 to make health care price and quality information publicly available to consumers. The updated site now includes a single location in which Hoosiers can find hospital-specific price information for common shoppable services, out-of-pocket price estimator tools where available, and standard charges for all items and services in a machine-readable format, as required by the federal Price Transparency Rule. Although Indiana hospitals have complied with the rule, there was no single location to quickly find links to each hospital's information until now.
“Our hospitals are working individually and collectively to continuously improve mycareINsight so every patient has the information they need to make informed decisions about their care," said IHA President Brian Tabor.
Since 2015, mycareINsight has allowed consumers to compare hospital charges and quality ratings for the 100 most frequent inpatient services and the 50 most frequent outpatient procedures, helping to clarify the complex factors that affect the cost of hospital services.
Tabor said although this ranking is a great achievement for Indiana, we must remain steadfast and continue discussions with the legislature to make prices truly transparent.
“While the data on mycareINsight provides a great starting point for consumers to begin comparing hospitals and making health care decisions, it only tells part of the story and we cannot provide what a patient's out-of-pocket cost will be based on their insurance," said Tabor. “To make health care prices truly transparent, pending federal transparency requirements for health insurance companies should be accelerated and put into state law."
To access the updated site, consumers can visit www.mycareINsight.org.