Hospitals Must Now Post Prices. But It May Take a Brain Surgeon to Decipher Them.

by Larry Emmott on January 17, 2019

in Health Care Politics

From The New York Times:

On Jan. 1, hospitals began complying with a Trump administration order to post list prices for all their services, theoretically offering consumers transparency and choice and forcing health care providers into price competition.It’s turning into a fiasco.

Source: Hospitals Must Now Post Prices. But It May Take a Brain Surgeon to Decipher Them. – The New York Times

Reading the article it is obvious the hospitals are following the letter of the law but have no intention of making buying decisions easier for patients. In fact just the opposite. They are making things intentionally obscure to illustrate how impossible it would be for consumers to make educated health choices. Hospitals and the other entrenched interests in healthcare have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.

Here is what I wrote back in August when the new rule was first announced.

Some people imagine this new regulation will result in significant change that brings some price competition to health care resulting in lower costs and better care. It might, but I fear there are deeper dis-functions built into the system that will take more than price lists to fix. Still it is a good first step.

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