facebook New Medicare rule: Hospitals must post list prices for services online

BIG PHARMA POLITICS: Consumers pressure politicians to do something about rising drug prices. Read More

Hospitals must post list prices for services online

New Medicare rule aims to help consumers make smarter care decisions

Hospitals must post list prices for services onlineHealth care often gets dinged for being less-than transparent about costs. Wouldn’t it be great if you could see a list of services and their prices before you go to the hospital?

Medicare thinks so.

Medicare has announced a new requirement that hospitals post their standard prices online so patients can be more educated about services and make smarter decisions about their care, according to an Associated Press story in the Washington Post.

Hospitals are required to post their prices now, but the new requirement says the prices must be online and in a format that computers can easily process.

Consumers still need to do some homework, even with the prices in hand, as insurance companies and government programs typically negotiate prices that are different from what’s listed, and consumers still have co-pays and deductibles that could affect their final cost.

What do you think? Would seeing a list price of hospital services be helpful? Share your thoughts with Voices.