NY City Council Approves Bill Allowing Comparision Shopping of Hospital Procedures

NY City Council Approves Bill Allowing Comparision Shopping of Hospital Procedures

Mindy Cohen

New Yorkers will soon be able to select hospital services based on what the hospitals charge now that the City Council has passed a bill allowing New Yorkers to do online comparison shopping of the best prices for procedures at different hospitals.

New York will launch the first healthcare accountability office in the country, whose job will be to analyze hospital costs and provide online pricing information via a website that will list prices of standard hospital procedures in a "simplified and publicly accessible format". 

The Greater New York Hospital Association strongly opposed the bill. The Association argued that hospitals were already working to comply with 2021 federal regulations, which require publishing a complete list of the prices negotiated with private insurers. But according to the Patient Rights Advocate.Org's hospital transparency report, out of 2,000 hospitals surveyed, only twenty-four percent had complied with the new federal regulations, and only six percent compliance was noted in New York City.

The data from the hospitals that have complied prove why the City Council felt the new bill was necessary, given the wide discrepancy in charges between hospitals that the public was kept in the dark about until now. 

In New York, where one million people are uninsured, comparison shopping before a procedure is even more critical.

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