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Report: Most states flunk price transparency laws tests: 4 things to know

Despite two states making gains in healthcare price-transparency, 43 states once again received failing grades on the Report Card on State Price Transparency Laws, according to HealthLeaders Media News.

Here are four things you need to know:

1. The report — prepared by Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute of Newtown, Conn., and Catalyst for Payment Reform of Berkeley, Calif. — looks at the strength and effectiveness of state regulations on several metrics including: the source of price data, the participation level of hospitals and physician practices, whether patient prices are listed on an out-of-pocket basis rather than a price-charged basis, the scope of the services that have pricing information and whether that pricing information is online.

2. In 2015, New Hampshire was the only state to receive an "A." Forty-five states had received failing grades. Colorado and Maine will be joining New Hampshire this year, as all three received an "A" rating.

3. According to the report, most states face an unmet need for healthcare price transparency. Although several states do have laws that refer to price transparency, those laws provide little to consumers looking to shop for and choose care. The report suggests that the laws all need to be redesigned or implemented more effectively.

4. The report offers three ways to improve a practice's implementation of price transparency laws including: using rich data sources, providing meaningful price information and comprehensive descriptions of procedural scope and creating accessible websites.

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