By Consumers for Quality Care, on June 28, 2023
The New York City Council overwhelmingly voted to create the first of its kind “health care accountability office,” which will allow city residents to compare hospital prices of procedures and treatments online, according to The New York Times.
Councilwoman Julie Menin, who sponsored the bill, said “this is a simple, straightforward consumer protection measure.”
Prices will be listed in a “simplified and publicly accessible format” that will allow consumers to shop around and compare prices between different hospitals.
Patient Rights Advocate, a nonprofit organization in support of health care price transparency, released a study earlier this year that found only 24 percent of hospitals to be in compliance with the federal price transparency rule that requires hospitals to publish a list of prices for common medical procedures in an easy-to-read and accessible format. The same study found only 6 percent of hospitals in New York City are in compliance with the rule.
Currently, costs vary widely for a given medical procedure in New York City. Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, which does publish their prices online, charges more than three times the amount for a cesarean section delivery compared to New York City-run hospitals.
CQC applauds New York City’s efforts to improve hospital price transparency and urges increased action and oversight to ensure that hospitals are publishing their data on pricing in a timely, accessible way. Patients have a right to the information they need to compare costs, and hospitals should be held accountable when they fail to provide this information.