Starting January 1, 2021, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services required United States hospitals to publicly disclose prices of their services provided. We analyzed publicly-disclosed prices of prostate cancer-related services.
All United States hospitals were queried for publicly-disclosed prices of total and free prostate-specific antigen, prostate magnetic resonance imaging, prostate biopsy, radical prostatectomy, and intensity-modulated radiation therapy as of May 2022. Prices were adjusted by regional price parity. Hospitals disclosing prices were compared with non-disclosing hospitals.
Of 6013 hospitals, 3840 (64%) disclosed pricing for at least one prostate cancer-related service. Compared to non-disclosing hospitals, disclosing hospitals had higher median gross annual revenue ($318,502,426 vs. $62,930,436, p < 0.001) and were more likely to be non-profit (56% vs. 30%, p < 0.001), academic-affiliated (46% vs. 13%, p < 0.001), and in neighborhoods with low hospital density (68% vs 62%, p < 0.001). Self-pay prices were higher than insurance-negotiated prices for all services (p < 0.001) other than prostate biopsy. The range of pricing was widest for self-pay prostatectomy, with a 32-fold difference from 90th to 10th percentile ($47,445 to $1476). Self-pay prices of total prostate-specific antigen, magnetic resonance imaging, biopsy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, and prostatectomy were higher at academic vs. non-academic, for-profit vs. non-profit hospitals, and hospitals in the top quartile of gross annual revenue vs. the third and fourth quartiles (p < 0.01). Self-pay prices of prostate biopsy and prostatectomy were higher in urban vs. rural neighborhoods and neighborhoods with high vs. low hospital density (p < 0.001).
Self-pay prices of prostate cancer services were generally higher than insurance-negotiated prices and were higher at for-profit hospitals, academic hospitals, and hospitals in the highest quartile of gross annual revenue. Higher neighborhood hospital density was not associated with higher likelihood of price disclosure nor lower pricing of services, suggesting that local competition does not lead to lower prices and may disincentivize disclosure of prices.
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The data used in this study were obtained under license from Turquoise Health. Researchers interested in these data may visit https://turquoise.health for additional information on acquiring this dataset.
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Jonathan Shoag is supported by the Frederick J. and Theresa Dow Fund of the New York Community Trust, the Vinney Scholars Award, and a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Physician Scientist Training Award. The work presented here was not directly funded by an outside organization or sponsor. Jonathan Shoag had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Brant, A., Lewicki, P., Rhodes, S. et al. Price transparency of prostate cancer care in the United States: An analysis of pricing and disclosure following the centers for medicare and medicaid mandate. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41391-023-00643-9