New Hampshire has again received national accolades for helping people make educated health care choices, according to an annual report card developed by two nonprofit organizations focused on health reform.
“Only three states—New Hampshire, Colorado, and Maine—received an A for providing detailed pricing on a variety of procedures through easy-to-use public websites, backed by rich data sources,” stated the organizations Catalyst for Payment Reform and Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute. Their report card gave 43 states an F for “failing to meet even minimum standards.” In 2015, New Hampshire was the only state to receive an A rating.
New Hampshire’s success derives from its free health price transparency website, www.NHHealthCost.org, which was developed by the New Hampshire Insurance Department in 2007. The website uses actual, anonymous paid claims data from insurance companies to show patients (both insured and uninsured) estimated prices for 100 procedures at medical facilities around the state.
“People in the Granite State do their research before any important purchase, such as buying a car,” said New Hampshire Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny. “They ought to have that same right when it comes to their health care expenses. We created the HealthCost website for them.”
NH HealthCost shows a precise estimate of total costs of a procedure, including physician, lab, and facility fees. New Hampshire residents can use the site to compare the price of health care services, including estimates for out‐of‐pocket costs – and see how they vary among doctors, hospitals, and outpatient facilities.
Earlier this year, the Department re-launched the website after a redesign and major updates, including almost doubling the number of medical procedures available and adding pharmacy retail charges and information on dental procedures, physical therapy, behavioral health, chiropractic care, sleep studies, and lab tests.
The site also unveiled two new sections:
- "Quality of Care”: offers a convenient way to see nationally available quality data on local health care facilities, such as infection rates, patient experience, and readmissions. The goal is to increase the quality of care patients can expect to receive.
- “A Guide to Health Insurance”: features frequently asked questions about getting health insurance, navigating the insurance system, and how to manage costs. Users can submit their own questions and give feedback on the information presented.
The New Hampshire Insurance Department’s HealthCost website: www.NHHealthCost.org