There are new federal rules that require hospitals to post their pricing information online in order to give patients the information they need to make decisions about their health care. But it turns out that some large hospital systems have been using codes that prevent that information from appearing in online search results.
Advocates for less government involvement in health care and instead letting the free market have a stronger role base their arguments on the idea that just like groceries or cars or clothes, consumers should be able to shop around and look for the best value in health care.
But among other things, if consumers can’t find the cost of health care, the idea of the free market is impossible.
Now the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has told hospitals they can't hide their prices from web searches.
While that may solve one problem in trying to find the most affordable health care, it’s not clear it will solve many others that still exist.