Massachusetts physicians and hospitals are now required by law to provide cost information for procedures and services to patients who request it.
The new price transparency regulations became effective for physicians and hospitals on January 1, 2014. [...]
The new requirement is part of an ongoing rollout of Chapter 224, sweeping payment reform legislation passed in August 2012 that seeks to improve health care quality while reducing costs through various strategies, including alternative payment methodologies and increased price transparency. [...]
The law states that if asked by a patient, a health care provider must disclose the allowed amount or charge of the admission, procedure or service, including the amount for any “facility fees” required within two working days. The law defines “allowed amount” as the contractually agreed amount paid by a carrier to a health care provider. [...]
Although the new law has dramatic implications, many consumers seem so far unaware of their new rights to cost information.
-Vicki Ritterband, Massachusetts Medical Society Blog. The post goes on to characterize some of the limitations and patient burdens of the new transparency requirements.