This Year's State Report Card on Price Transparency

March 19, 2014

It’s that time of year. No, not a major holiday, all though the first day of spring is tomorrow and that is a big deal to many people, especially after this winter. It is time to release the report card to the states on how well they are producing and promoting price transparency in healthcare.

Last year’s report card showed that 36 states received a D or an F when it came to price transparency laws. That is 72% of our country! But to put that in to terms of actual lives that are impacted, based on the 2013 population estimates of those 36 states, that means the 253.9 million people are in complete darkness on even the possibility of finding any healthcare price information as legislated by their state. Keep in mind there are about 314 million people living in the United States.

This year’s report, which will be released next Tuesday, March 25th, has expanded from grading price transparency laws alone to how actionable those laws are and if they are being implemented and enforced. For example, if a state is requiring hospitals and insurance plans to publish prices, are they actually doing that and are they doing it in the form of a public website that is consumer-friendly?

Look at the map above. How did your state do? Do you expect improvement in the 2014 report card?

Join the conversation on Twitter by using #hctransparency and check back next Tuesday for the official report results.