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New guidelines for how medical facilities advertise procedure pricing

ALPENA, Mich. –  A new year means new requirements for hospitals nationwide when it comes to letting consumers know how much procedures cost.

What most people may not know is that most hospitals, doctors offices and medical clinics are required by law to post prices for procedures in their facility, but now a new law will require them to also post them online.

The move is part of a larger push by the Trump administration to use price transparency to curtail prices and better inform consumers.

You’ll now see how much hospitals charge for procedures, but there’s still not a clear picture on how much you’ll play.

All Michigan hospitals are now required to post on their website prices for every service, drug and supply they provide.

“Because these rates don’t provide out of pocket costs for those people who have insurance, I’m worried it might lead to confusion,” said Mark Fendrick from the University of Michigan Center for Value-Based Insurance Design.

The information must be in a prominent location online that is easily accessed and is searchable. the service descriptions must be in plain language that basic consumers can understand.

Some healthcare systems throughout the state, allow you to calculate your costs before going into a procedure, but that can be a task in itself.

Under the new federal rules, by 2023,  insurers will be required to provide online shopping tools to show people’s out of pocket costs.

“That’s really going to step up movements for patients become better shoppers,” said Fendrick.

Hospitals that do not comply to this cahnge can face penalties of up to $300 per day.