This is a pretty big step for a hospital to take. Typically, hospitals and health plans closely guard their negotiated rates as a competitive advantage. A hospital doesn’t want its competitor down the street to know it’s getting paid a lot more by an insurance company for the exact same procedure. Likewise, health plans don’t want their competition to know when they’ve gotten a low rate with a provider.
We hope many more follow in Mt. Sinai’s footsteps. The fact that a hospital can make national headlines simply by letting people know how much they’re actually charging them is a sign of deep dysfunction. It’s amazing that there are more consumer protections for buying a used car than there are for getting health care. Despite years of health care reforms, Washington seems content to keep consumers in the dark.[Bills image courtesy of Shutterstock]