The survey conducted by PatientRightsAdvocate.org reveals overwhelming support among healthcare consumers for increased price transparency. With 94 percent advocating for legal requirements mandating disclosure of healthcare organizations’ prices online, the survey underscores a widespread desire for transparency. Notably, 93 percent believe hospitals should publish actual prices in advance, and 92 percent expect hospitals to honor these quotes. Access to transparent pricing could impact decision-making, with 91 percent stating they would use it to compare hospitals. The survey also highlights the potential for improved transparency to reduce health insurance costs. Despite federal requirements in place since 2021, the survey finds a concerning lack of compliance among hospitals.
Rising demand for healthcare price transparency is evident in the recent survey conducted by PatientRightsAdvocate.org. Sponsored by Patient Rights Advocate, Inc., the survey reflects responses from 1,130 adults nationwide, revealing a compelling consensus among consumers. An overwhelming 94 percent support legal mandates requiring healthcare organizations to disclose prices online, covering discounted prices, cash prices, and insurance-negotiated rates. The emphasis is on actual prices, not estimates, with 93 percent insisting on advance publication. The survey delves into consumer expectations, showcasing the potential impact of transparent pricing on healthcare decision-making and its broader implications for reducing insurance costs.
The findings underscore a widespread consensus, with 94 percent of respondents advocating for legal requirements compelling healthcare organizations—including hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies—to disclose all their prices online. This information, encompassing discounted prices, cash prices, and insurance-negotiated rates, should be easily accessible to the public.
Equally noteworthy is the fact that 93 percent of consumers believe hospitals should be obligated to publish their actual prices in advance of planned care, rejecting the notion of relying solely on estimates. A substantial majority (92 percent) also expressed the view that hospitals should honor their initial price quotes, ensuring that final bills accurately reflect the agreed-upon prices.
The survey further revealed that 91 percent of consumers would utilize accessible price information to compare hospitals, facilitating informed decisions in selecting high-quality care at the most reasonable cost. Moreover, 88 percent of respondents indicated a greater likelihood of seeking routine and elective healthcare if they had access to upfront pricing and the ability to compare costs across different facilities.
Consumer optimism extends to the belief that enhanced price transparency could contribute to reducing health insurance costs. The survey demonstrated that consumers perceive increased competition between healthcare providers and health plans as a potential outcome of improved transparency.
Disturbingly, the survey discovered that 59 percent of consumers had previously deferred medical care due to a lack of awareness regarding associated costs.
In terms of policy priorities, the survey identified a clear demand for action from Congress, with one-third of respondents considering the passage of legislation ensuring transparent pricing a top priority. Notably, 90 percent of participants expressed a greater likelihood of supporting elected officials who championed the cause of compelling hospitals and insurance companies to disclose their actual prices.
The survey results align with ongoing legislative efforts to address the issue. Notably, in December 2023, the US House of Representatives passed the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act, while the Senate introduced the Health Care Prices Revealed and Information to Consumers Explained Transparency Act.
Despite federal requirements for hospital price transparency implemented on January 1, 2021, and July 2023 data from Patient Rights Advocate indicated that almost two-thirds of 2,000 hospitals were not in compliance with these transparency requirements.
The survey’s findings shed light on a critical juncture in healthcare, where consumers clamor for transparency to navigate the complex landscape of medical costs. The majority demands not just estimates but actual, upfront prices from hospitals. The survey underscores the potential for transparency to empower consumers, influencing their choices and, in turn, fostering competition among healthcare providers and insurers. The clear call for congressional action further amplifies the urgency of addressing the issue. Despite legislative efforts, the survey exposes a concerning reality—many hospitals remain non-compliant with federal transparency requirements. This gap between consumer expectations and industry practice highlights the pressing need for transformative measures in healthcare pricing.