HHS releases hospital price data

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for the first time has released data comparing average hospital charges for the 100 most common Medicare claims. And those prices vary widely across the country and even within cities, mostly caused by what the American Hospital Association calls a "cat-and-mouse game" between hospitals and insurers that affects what hospitals charge. The agency also is allocating $87 million to states to enhance their rate review programs and further healthcare pricing transparency. "Currently, consumers don't know what a hospital is charging them or their insurance company for a given procedure, like a knee replacement, or how much of a price difference there is at different hospitals, even within the same city," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in an announcement. "This data and new data centers will help fill that gap." >> Read the full article at FierceHealthcare

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