There is an ongoing effort to make prices for healthcare services more accessible to the public.
Fair Health Consumer is a searchable website with prices for many medical and dental services and procedures. A recent federal rule was implemented in January 2021 that requires hospitals to list the price they charge for at least 300 “shoppable” services explained in understandable language. Be aware that these prices are often not found on routine internet searches and that you may need to visit the website of the specific hospital of interest to find them. This price list must include the discounted cash price, payer specific negotiated prices, and de-identified minimum and maximum negotiated prices.
If you are looking for an insurance-related bill of rights, you might be interested in this information available from the Department of Health and Human Services:
- A patient’s rights and responsibilities under the Affordable Care Act are found on the HealthCare.gov website
- Your Medicare rights are explained on the Medicare website
Each state also has a Department of Insurance which is a good resource for questions about rights and registering complaints.
If You Believe Your Rights Are Not Being Honored
First, speak up to your doctor. Often, issues can be dealt with quickly and easily if everyone is willing. If that isn’t satisfactory, most hospitals have patient advocates and/or ombudsmen who can help you if you have problems. They can help you with the process for registering a complaint, if appropriate. Many states have an ombudsman office for problems with long term care. Your state’s department of health or department of insurance may also be able to help. In addition, CMS has multiple venues to register complaints. If you believe your civil rights have been violated, visit the HHS website on civil rights and healthcare to learn more and possibly file a complaint.