A new report from a patients rights group finds that most Illinois hospitals continue to hide actual prices from consumers 18 months after the Hospital Price Transparency Rule went into effect.
Beginning in January 2021, every hospital operating in the U.S. was required to provide clear, accessible pricing information online about the items and services they provide.
PatientRightsAdvocate.org found that only 319 hospitals, or 16% nationwide, were complying with the law. A total of 101 hospitals did not post any standard charges online and were in total noncompliance.
The group reviewed the websites of 2,000 of the more than 6,000 licensed hospitals in the United States.
“We evaluated the compliance of the 1,000 hospitals analyzed in our February 2022 report and reviewed an additional 1,000 hospitals subject to the rule,” the group said.
Founder and Chair Cynthia Fisher said the law was enacted to allow patients to choose where they receive medical care.
“Price transparency is truly transformative,” Fisher said. “It shifts the power to the patient to be able in advance to know actual prices before they get care.”
Fisher said the federal government has fined hospitals for not complying with the law.
“Our report shows that enforcement does work and it works when there are fines issued to the hospitals making them accountable,” she said.
The report said 26 Illinois hospitals are not complying with the law, including Clay County Hospital, Trinity Rock Island and Midwest Medical Center in Galena. It highlighted a dozen hospitals that are complying and providing prices, including Paris Community Hospital, Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Franklin Hospital in Benton.
Illinois Radio Network