NORTH CAROLINA: NC Law makes move to improve health cost transparency

By Owen Covington, Reporter- The Business Journal

1358372_modern_office_architectureJULY 30, 2013 – Passed last week in the waning days of this year’s legislative session, the Health Care Cost Reduction and Transparency Act of 2013, or House Bill 834, will create an online database of what hospitals are paid, on average, for the 100 treatments they perform most frequently. They’ll also be reporting their costs for the 20 most common surgical procedures and 20 most common imaging procedures.

Take a case of pneumonia, for instance. N.C. consumers will now be able to go online and compare a variety of prices for its treatment. The database will tell them what Medicare pays for the treatment of pneumonia, what Medicaid pays and the average of what the five largest insurers in the state would pay the hospital.

Additionally, the database will state the charge for an uninsured patient, and the average payment uninsured patients are able to negotiate with the hospital.



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