NH gets failing grade for consumer access to health care costs
This year, the state got an "F."
The New Hampshire Insurance Department's nhhealthcost.org website has been down since the beginning of the year. The site posts cost information for about 42 medical procedures and more than 100 providers, including all 26 acute-care hospitals as well as some radiology groups, ambulatory surgical centers and primary care physicians.
Brannen said the Insurance Department is "very close" to getting the claims data it needs to make the new price calculations.
The groups publishing the transparency report card emphasized the importance of unbiased data to help consumers make informed health care decisions. That's something New Hampshire has done since 2006, Brannen said, by collecting actual claims data from health insurers.
Brannen noted the state did get a "B" grade for its laws and regulations regarding health care transparency. RSA 420-G:11-a requires the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services to develop a "comprehensive" health care information system and to publish the data for public access.
Meanwhile, with the website down for the past few months, Brannen has gotten calls from consumers, patient advocacy organizations and others asking when the new cost data will be posted. "I have heard from a lot of people who I had no idea were using the website," he said.
Brannen said there's an upside to the failing grade in the latest report card: "I think it demonstrates the value of our (nhhealthcost.org) website to the effort around price transparency in the state.
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