HHS Unveils Medicare Claims Data Detailing Hospital Price Information For Outpatient Treatment

The average charges for 30 hospital outpatient procedures show big hospital-to-hospital variation in terms of how much the facilities bill patients for the same service.

Politico: HHS Releases Prices For Outpatient Treatment
The Obama administration expanded its efforts to shine the light on hospital pricing Monday, making public charges for outpatient services from its vast trove of Medicare claims. It follows a move last month to publicize the often wild variation in charges for the 100 most common inpatient procedures. Experts say it's part of a long-delayed transition to price transparency for an industry that's been largely protected from it in the past (Norman, 6/4).

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Medicare Data Show Wide Divide In Outpatient Hospital Bills
Medicare released average bill charges for 30 hospital outpatient procedures Monday, showing big differences from hospital to hospital in how much they bill patients for the same service. The data come a month after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services garnered front-page attention for its release of similar information about 100 common hospital inpatient procedures (Rau, 6/3).

CQ HealthBeat: Medicare Outpatient Costs Vary Widely, HHS Data Shows
Vermont, Maine and North Dakota have the highest per capita outpatient costs under new Medicare data released by federal health officials Monday. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released the cache of records at the fourth annual national health conference Health Datapalooza (Adams, 6/3).

Medpage Today: CMS Releases More Hospital Pricing Data
The agency also released information on Medicare spending and utilization at the county, state, and hospital-referral region and the prevalence of certain chronic conditions among Medicare beneficiaries. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials hope the additional publicly available data will help spur wiser decisions by consumers and provide researchers with better understanding of Medicare spending and utilization in more localized areas (Pittman, 6/3).

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