Half of Hospitals Compliant With MRI Price Transparency Mandate

Findings seen among hospitals offering lumbar spine MRI; compliance higher for hospitals with higher patient recommendation ratings

a woman in the MRI scanner
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FRIDAY, March 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Only half of hospitals offering lumbar spine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are compliant with the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) price transparency mandate after eight months, according to a report published online Feb. 18 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Richard Lin, from the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine in Glen Head, New York, and colleagues examined hospital compliance with the CMS price transparency mandate, implemented January 2021, which instructed hospitals to publicly post gross and payer-specific negotiated service charges and discounted cash prices in an online machine-readable format and display these prices in a consumer-friendly format, for patients undergoing lumbar spine MRI. Overall, 523 hospitals were identified with reported OP-8 scores, a CMS imaging quality metric, between September and October 2021.

The researchers found that 49.5 percent of the hospitals were compliant with the CMS price transparency mandate. Hospitals with higher patient recommendation star ratings had higher compliance in the multivariable analysis (odds ratio, 1.7). Hospitals with higher Google star ratings had higher cash prices in the multivariable analysis (B coefficient, 693.5).

"Our results show hospitals with high-quality metrics are more likely to comply with patient-centric initiatives such as price transparency, and although the price transparency was mandated to promote high-value care, limitations remain in its ability to effectively function," the authors write.

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