For years we have watched health care prices increase with little to no available data on where the costs in our health care delivery system are focused. Advocates point in every direction: preventative care, insurance companies, regulations, overbuilt infrastructure, prescription drugs, and now Covid-19.
What we don’t hear about? Hospitals. For a long time, how much hospitals actually charge for the services they provide was a black hole in our health care system. Thanks to new requirements from the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid that is beginning to change. Starting in January 2021, all hospitals in the United States are required to disclose a their chargemaster files which contain payer-specific pricing. This information is key to understanding a number of things, including where consumers can save money, insurance companies have negotiated rates down, and potentially what procedures hospitals are making revenue on.
The second wave of this data is coming next month and we would like to analyze the two years of data to better inform consumers about which hospitals offer the lowest rates for the procedure they are looking for. This analysis would also potentially tell us which procedures hospitals make their margins on and which one’s insurance providers have negotiated down.
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