This is what the new CMS rules for hospital price transparency say:
SUMMARY: This final rule establishes requirements for hospitals operating in the United States to establish, update, and make public a list of their standard charges for the items and services that they provide. These actions are necessary to promote price transparency in health care and public access to hospital standard charges. By disclosing hospital standard charges, we believe the public (including patients, employers, clinicians, and other third parties) will have the information necessary to make more informed decisions about their care. We believe the impact of these final policies will help to increase market competition, and ultimately drive down the cost of health care services, making them more affordable for all patients.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.
This reflects the conservative/Republican view of health care cost management. It’s naive, unrealistic and fails to consider human behavior when it comes to seeking and paying for health care.
Doc, “I think we need to consider surgery, but first you should have this that and another test, I’ll make arrangements.”
Patient, “Not so fast Doc, I’ve some shopping to do. I need to go on line to see the most competitive pricing. If I go in the hospital can you tell me now all the service I will need and exactly how long I will be staying”
Doc, “Well, no I can’t because there are many variables we can’t know in advance.
Patient, “I’ll get back to you as soon as I find the most competitive prices. By the way how many hospitals do you work in?”