The Hospital Price Transparency Challenge

    • July 29, 2014

Dates of Project: June 2013 through December 2013

Description: The RWJF-sponsored Hospital Price Transparency Challenge was designed to help consumers understand and use hospital charge data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to make more informed decisions about hospital care for common procedures such as hip and knee replacements.

“Transformation of the health care delivery system cannot occur without greater price transparency. While more work lies ahead, the release of these hospital price data will allow us to shine a light on the often vast variations in hospital charges.”—Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, RWJF president and CEO

Health 2.0 challenged developers to create either apps and tools that allow users to analyze and potentially leverage hospital charge data for purchasing decisions or to negotiate hospital bills, or visualizations—either interactive or static—that help the public understand, explore, and interpret the data.

Two review panels (one for apps and tools and one for visualizations)—composed of representatives from CMS, RWJF, health plans, and technology firms—selected the winners.

Key Results

  • First place for the apps and tools category ($50,000): Consumer Reports Hospital Adviser: Hip & Knee. This is a personalized tool for health care consumers seeking the best hospital for hip or knee replacement surgery. 

  • First place for the interactive visualizations category ($9,000): Optimal Hospital. This product, created by Adam E. McCann, helps users explore their hospital options using eight different datasets from CMS.

  • First place for the static visualizations category ($6,000): So, You Need Knee Replacement Surgery. Created by Imaginary Office’s Esther Chak and Mary-Jo Valentino, this poster illustration guides readers through the experience of researching information to help choose a hospital for knee replacement surgery based on location, care quality, and cost.

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#RWJF helps #health2con award $120,000 in prizes for products that enhance hospital price data transparency