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One third of Utah hospitals not in compliance with hospital price transparency law

Mar 4, 2024, 6:00 PM | Updated: Mar 7, 2024, 10:14 am

Hospitals in compliance...

A third of Utah hospitals are not complying with hospital price transparency laws.(Canva)

(Canva)

SALT LAKE CITY — A third of Utah hospitals are not complying with hospital price transparency laws.

PatientRightsAdvocate.org compared 2,000 hospital websites nationwide. They found that only 689 hospitals, or 34.5% of those hospitals, comply with transparency laws.

Utah fared slightly better, with 67% of hospitals in the state abiding by the price transparency law.

“As long as hospitals and insurance companies hide their prices, they can charge whatever they want,” said Cynthia Fisher, founder and chairman for PatientRightsAdvocate.org.

“Unfortunately, nearly every family has a story about a family member being overcharged with a hospital bill they never expected.”

What’s behind hospital price transparency laws

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has required hospitals to post their service prices since January 1, 2021. According to CMMS, hospitals must provide accessible pricing information online about the items and services they provide.

The information can be a comprehensive, machine-readable file with all items and services. It can also be contained in a display of shoppable services in a consumer-friendly format.

“When we can see prices,” Fisher said, “then it shifts the power to patients, to be well-informed upfront about their healthcare decisions and their financial decisions.”

Intermountain Health and Common Spirit Health are among the healthcare providers praised by the researchers for listing their prices as required. 

“Prices give us proof that we’ve been overcharged,” Fisher said. “Prices also introduce competition to the healthcare sector because no one wants to tolerate being charged far more than the next patient in the same hospital.”

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One third of Utah hospitals not in compliance with hospital price transparency law