Oregon Makes the Grade on Health Care Transparency – Up to “B” from “F”

Lake Oswego, Ore. – Due in large part to the legislation the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems sponsored in 2015, Oregon has received a health care transparency rating of “B” in The 2016 Report Card on State Price Transparency Laws, developed by the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute and Catalyst for Payment Reform.

In every previous edition of the scorecard, Oregon had received an “F” along with most other states in the nation. Now Oregon is one of seven states that receive above a failing grade, and is one of only one of four which get an “A” or a “B.”

The Report Card on State Price Transparency Laws rates states on a series of metrics, all of which focus on whether the public is being provided with high-quality, accessible health care pricing information.

The new report cites OregonHospitalGuide.org, where Oregon’s data is displayed in an easy-to-use, accessible and comparable manner as a key reason Oregon moved up the ranks this year. The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems created and maintains the website, and took state-produced price data and displayed it on that site, in an effort to increase transparency.

“Oregon hospitals are proud to have led the way towards this improved grade by both passing legislation to make price data public and also putting that data on OregonHospitalGuide.org for patients and the public to access,” said Andy Davidson, president and CEO of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems. “Our ultimate goal was not to improve our grade, however, but to improve the quality and amount of information available to the public and our patients. When you combine this online pricing data with our commitment to giving patients a good-faith estimate within three business days, we feel that we are putting great tools in the hands of our community in a substantive way for the first time.”

The report says that Oregon merits the “B” grade because it “collects data in an [All Payer All Claims] database, including paid amounts, and publishes the data on good website for consumers.

Oregon can earn an even higher score if the state collects practitioner prices in addition to facility prices and does so for a greater number of services and procedures.