April 29, 2016
A new Florida law requiring hospitals and other health care facilities to post in a public database the average amount they are paid for a specific procedure puts the state at the forefront of the push to increase health care price transparency. Importantly, the average amount paid for a specific procedure is far different from the standard charge information required by many states. In addition, the new law pairs pricing information with quality measures, which are important for consumers and require practitioners who provide services in hospitals, such as anesthesiologists and radiologists, to also produce cost estimates. Only Florida, New Hampshire, Colorado and Maine have such "average price" laws in place. Although 26 other states have statutes requiring hospitals to state publicly some sort of price, in almost every case the sticker price is published—not the lower rates the hospitals actually are paid. Under the Florida law, the state is required to develop a user-friendly online platform where hospitals, urgent care centers, offsite diagnostic facilities and ambulatory surgical centers must post their procedure costs.