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Study finds Massachusetts price transparency needs improvement

Massachusetts has had legislation in place requiring hospitals and physicians to disclose prices of common procedures since January 2014, but price transparency remains sporadic in the state.

The Pioneer Institute recently conducted a study that found many providers were reluctant or unable to disclose pricing information, according to a Masslive report. The study authors called 96 medical providers in the dermatology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology and dentistry specialties. The results of the study were mixed.

Dentists proved to the most able to provide cost information within two business days. Dermatologists offered little specificity, and some providers expressed uncertainty over whether they had the authority to disclose the information, according to the report. Ophthalmologists fell somewhere between the dentists and dermatologists in the study.

Gastroenterologists were asked about the cost of a colonoscopy. Just 13 of 25 practices included in the study were able to provide price information for physician, facility and anesthesia fees within two business days, according to the report.

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