Hospitals have posted the prices of their services. Good luck making sense of them. Since Jan. 1, hospitals across the country have been publishing price lists online to comply with a new Trump administration rule. But the resulting documents, which can include as many as 60,000 items, are hard to decipher, with descriptions like “ABBOTT TECNIS TORIC ASPHERIC IOL ZCT300 21.0D SE 3.00 CYL.” and “FILL, PULL, VOID.” And if you’re not a data analyst or a programmer, you might have trouble reading the files at all. So far, the biggest hospitals have largely complied with the rule. A NBC News analysis of the 24 largest hospitals in the country found that 19 made documents available, although the lists were often buried many clicks deep on the hospital’s website. Officials behind the rule say it will improve transparency about hospital costs and encourage comparison shopping. Health care advocates are lukewarm on the rule and doubt it will ultimately help patients act more like consumers. “Honestly, it doesn’t do a whole lot,” said Shawn Gremminger, senior director of federal relations at the health care advocacy group Families USA. “It doesn’t necessarily tell consumers anything that is really helpful in terms of… Read full this story
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