Newport Hospital

Rhode Island General Assembly Passes Health Care Price Transparency Legislation

The Rhode Island General Assembly has approved new legislation aimed at increasing price transparency in health care facilities. Introduced by Senate Minority Leader Jessica de la Cruz and Representative Julie A. Casimiro, the bills (2024-S 2078, 2024-H 7880) mandate that health care facilities maintain a searchable price list for all items and services offered.

Part of the larger Senate HEALTH package introduced in March, the legislation requires hospitals to publish a comprehensive, machine-readable file listing all standard charges for facility items and services. Additionally, hospitals must provide a consumer-friendly, searchable list of standard charges for at least 300 “shoppable” services. This includes 70 services identified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Each facility within a hospital system is required to maintain and publish its own list, detailing the items or services, gross charge, minimum and maximum negotiated charges, discounted cash price, payer-specific negotiated charge, and billing code.

The Department of Health will oversee compliance by evaluating complaints, reviewing compliance analyses, auditing hospital websites, and verifying adherence to the requirements.

“Providing up-front price information allows patients to make informed healthcare decisions, compare procedure prices at different hospitals, and avoid unexpectedly high bills,” said Leader de la Cruz (R-Dist. 23, North Smithfield, Burrillville, Glocester). “It also promotes hospital compliance with transparency requirements, which can lead to increased competition and lower prices.”

Representative Casimiro (D-Dist. 31, North Kingstown, Exeter) emphasized the importance of the legislation in the context of rising health care costs. “This will ensure our residents can make knowledgeable decisions about their health care needs while also protecting them from surprising or hidden costs,” she said.

The legislation now awaits the governor’s consideration.




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