MA makes insurers disclose hospital pay rates

Massachusetts will soon begin disclosing the rates insurers pay for procedures at individual hospitals, a move made possible by the state's health reform law. State regulators expect to publish the data in March 2008. The data will include not only pay rates, but also quality measures such as adherence to clinical guidelines for each of the procedures listed on the site. The move echoes a similar measure already enacted in New Hampshire, but New Hampshire isn't posting quality data alongside of prices.

The law is intended to help consumers become better healthcare shoppers, and to pressure hospitals to lower prices where warranted. Instead, some observers suggest, disclosing the data is more likely to push hospital prices toward an average, with lowest-paid hospitals possible raising their prices to catch up with peers.

To learn more about the state's plans:
- read this article from The Boston Globe

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