Federal mandate requires hospitals to be more transparent

Federal mandate requires hospitals to be more transparent

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Hospitals around the country are working towards the January 1, 2019 deadline to comply with a new federal mandate that requires hospitals to post pricing on their website.

This is all part of new plan driven by the Health and Human Services Department that is aiming to make healthcare costs more transparent while improving quality and competition.

Compared to other advanced countries, the United States is the least transparent and is paying the most per person.

According to data WTOC pulled from www.healthsystemtracker.org, the U.S. spends twice as much per person on healthcare compared to other comparable countries.

The average amount spent on healthcare in is about $5,000. The U.S. spends twice that much.

In countries like Australia, which falls just under the average, they are very transparent with patients about what the costs are up-front.

Right now, the lack of transparency in the U.S. is driven by insurance companies negotiating prices.

Now, federal mandates are looking to make the healthcare system in the U.S more transparent by improving the use of electronic records, making it easier for providers to spend time with patients and mandating hospitals to post their standard prices online.

However, patients should keep in mind that these charges do not factor in what insurance companies will pay, but it should give you an idea of what your insurance will be billed.

Officials from both Memorial Health and St. Joseph’s/Candler say they will be posting standard prices on their websites starting on Jan. 1.

Copyright 2018 WTOC. All rights reserved.