Previously, the price information that the government collects from hospitals wasn’t available to the average consumer, although the data could be purchased for uses such as research, officials said.
The department also is making $87 million in federal money available as grants to states to improve their hospital rate review programs, research why hospital charges vary so much, and get more information to patients.
Todd Park, an assistant to President Barack Obama on technology issues, said he envisions entrepreneurs creating apps to help consumers compare hospitals and researchers combing through the data to explain the cost differences.
‘‘Transparent marketplaces are more competitive, and more competitive marketplaces drive down costs,’’ Park told reporters at the White House. ‘‘And that’s certainly the hope here.’’
CMS data: http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/Medicare-Provider-Charge-Data/index.html
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