Washington State received a disappointing grade – an “F” – for health care price transparency, according to a new report by the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute and the Catalyst for Payment Reform. The two non-profit groups analyzed legislated price transparency websites, laws, regulations, and the ways in which information about health care costs are communicated to consumers in order to grade every state.
The report found that almost every state failed, only five passed. New Hampshire received an “A.” Colorado and Maine both received “Bs.” And, Vermont and Virginia received “Cs.”
According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, the poor showing is due to the fact that “many states don’t have legislation — or only recently passed legislation — around pricing transparency.” The report points out the need for “more states to set up mechanisms for more transparent communication around health care costs.”
The report does make mention of the fact that Washington recently passed legislation to “make reporting to the state’s All-Payer Claims Database mandatory.” The database seeks to make “information about the cost and quality of care more transparent.”
Forbes points out that information about price information is becoming more important because, due to Obamacare, employers are shifting more costs on to workers, generally in the form of higher co-payments and deductibles.” As a result, “the lack of transparent price information means consumers still don’t know what the real cost of healthcare is.”