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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) price transparency rule requiring U.S. hospitals to provide clear, accessible pricing information online about the items and services they offer has been celebrated as a huge victory for patients. We think that celebration is premature as many hospitals are not fully complying with the rule more than eight months after it went into effect.

There are three issues at hand. First, many hospitals haven’t complied with the rule because the process of making prices more transparent comes with challenges, including revealing the market power that providers have in negotiations with payers and diverting resources that are already spread thin.


Second, lack of compliance is frustrating third parties such as researchers, who want to understand health care prices, and entrepreneurs, who want to use the data to improve the patient experience and develop new products to make tools for consumers. It also leaves patients in the dark when they try to compare pricing.

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