atlantanorthside-300x155Federal officials will fine two Georgia hospitals, both in the same health system, a total of more than $1 million for failing to post online legally required pricing information. Patient advocates and the former administration hoped this incremental disclosure would help check ever-rising health care costs and give consumers important data to make better choices about which institutions they chose for treatment.

But hospitals nationwide, including the penalized Northside Hospital Atlanta (shown above) and Northside Hospital Cherokee, have flouted the transparency regulation that took force in January 2021. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has wagged a warning finger at institutions, issuing cautions to hundreds of institutions, with hundreds deciding to fall in line. Still, as the Washington Post reported:

“Out of more than 5,200 hospitals, just about 6% had both an accessible file and a shoppable display that adhered to the regulations. That’s according to a research piece published [June 6] in [the Journal of the American Medical Association, which] analyzed compliance six- to nine-months after the rules went into effect. Other reports found a similar pattern. In February, a report by patient advocates determined that a total of 14% of the 1,000 hospitals the group reviewed were in line with the requirements.”