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Effective since Jan. 1, 2021, the Hospital Price Transparency Rule is the federal government’s attempt to make health care pricing more transparent for patients. The goal is to make hospital services “shoppable” and eventually drive down costs for consumers. Nearly two years since this Rule took effect, almost two-thirds of hospitals are in compliance, according to one survey. Why does it still feel like nothing has changed?

To comply with this Rule, hospitals must make their standard charges publicly available online in two ways. First, they must post their chargemaster, which includes standard charges for all hospital items and services, in a comprehensive machine-readable file. Second, the chargemaster must include a consumer-friendly display that includes standard charges for at least 300 shoppable services customarily provided by the hospital.

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