Massachusetts Consumers Can Now Compare Healthcare Prices
Beginning October 1, Massachusetts requires private insurers to make healthcare pricing information public. It is the only state, so far, to do so.
As reported by Martha Bebinger of WBUR, the listed prices do not always present the full amount a patient would be charged. For example, prices may fail to include the cost of reading a test or facility fees. Not only do prices vary by provider, but they change frequently, Bebinger says. In addition, most of the available pricing is for outpatient care.
Despite its flaws, transparent pricing is expected to influence consumer decision-making and drive down price tags. Providers should expect other states to follow suit in requiring public healthcare pricing.