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51% of Hospitals Still Not Adhering to Price Transparency Laws

Analysis  |  By Amanda Norris  
   June 21, 2022

More than half of hospitals evaluated in a recent JAMA study did not adhere to price transparency requirements, as researchers call for more scrutiny to ensure compliance.

The No Surprises Act, which became effective January 1, requires hospitals to post the prices for their most common procedures as well as a patient-friendly tool to help shop for 300 common services.

According to a recent study published by JAMA, out of the 5,239 hospital websites evaluated, roughly 51% of hospitals did not adhere to either price transparency requirement.

Almost 14% of hospitals studied had a machine-readable file but no shoppable display while 30% of hospitals had a shoppable display but not a machine-readable file, according to the study. It also found less than 6% of hospitals were compliant with both components of the mandate.

Researchers also found that hospitals located in moderately concentrated or highly concentrated healthcare markets were significantly less likely to be transparent with their prices. Concluding their findings, the researchers noted that greater scrutiny of organizations within these areas may be needed to ensure adherence to price transparency.

Other hospital characteristics such as total gross revenue, size, emergency service capabilities and ownership type were not associated with a facility's adherence to the mandate, they wrote.

The team acknowledged that their count of adherent hospitals could be an underestimate as some may have updated their websites within the study's three-month data collection window.

This study doesn't come as much of a surprise as earlier research shows similar results in the adherence to price transparency.

For example, a study published earlier this year by PatientRightsAdvocate.org showed that most organizations were not fully complying with the hospital price transparency rule. 

The report assessed the compliance with the law by reviewing 1,000 U.S. hospitals out of the over 6,000 accredited hospitals in the country.

Of the 1,000 total hospitals reviewed in the study, only 14.3% were fully complying with the rule. The study also found that only 37.9% of the hospitals posted a sufficient amount of negotiated rates, but over half were not compliant in other criteria of the rule, such as rates by each insurer and named plan.

Some of the largest hospital systems in the country fell short in this study.

Amanda Norris is the Revenue Cycle Editor for HealthLeaders.


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