Few Americans realize that starting this year hospitals are required to post prices of common health services on their websites in a format patients can access and use, data from the KFF Health Tracking poll shows.
Federal regulations that took effect January 1 require this price transparency for hospitals to allow patients to compare prices across hospitals and “shop” for lower-price care. The new survey data finds that 9% of adults nationwide are aware that hospitals must disclose this information online.
In addition, relatively few (14%) adults say they or someone in their family had gone online to research the price of treatment at a hospital over the past six months. This in part reflects that many families might not have a need for nonemergency hospital care at a given time.
The data note is available on the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, an online information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.
Designed and analyzed by public opinion researchers at KFF, the KFF Health Tracking Poll was conducted from May 18-25 among a nationally representative random digit dial telephone sample of 1,526 adults. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by landline (248) and cell phone (1,278). The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the full sample. For results based on subgroups, the margin of sampling error may be higher.