By Consumers for Quality Care, on March 29, 2023
The hospital transparency rule requiring hospitals to post negotiated prices for various healthcare services has helped regulators examine how our health care system works, and in this case, study how hospital mergers affect consumers.
The study, which examined 3,195 hospitals that reported negotiated surgical prices, found that for nearly every surgical procedure, the average price was higher at hospital network facilities than at independent hospitals. A shoulder arthroscopy, for example, costs roughly $4,400 at a network hospital. But at an independent facility, the price for the same procedure is barely half that amount, at just $2,600 on average.
CQC continues to be encouraged by the federal hospital price transparency rule, which empowers consumers to shop around for their health care and gives regulators the information they need to better understand the health care system.
Decreased competition has negative impacts on consumers, often leading to fewer options and higher costs. CQC urges regulators and lawmakers to monitor hospital mergers closely to ensure that consumers don’t foot the bill for anti-competitive practices.