Accredited Hospitals Fail to Disclose Costs of Common Cancer Surgeries

Roughly half of hospitals accredited by the ACS-CoC failed to disclose the cost of 5 common cancer surgeries.

New research suggests a lack of price transparency for 5 common cancer surgeries. 

Researchers found that roughly half of hospitals accredited by the American College of Surgeon’s Commission on Cancer (ACS-CoC) failed to disclose the cost of all 5 surgeries.  

These findings were published in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Researchers studied 1075 ACS-CoC accredited hospitals, looking at price disclosures for mastectomy, lobectomy, partial colectomy, prostatectomy, and wide local excision for cutaneous melanoma

We found that, despite ACS-CoC accreditation, more than half of the cancer centers did not disclose prices for 5 common oncologic procedures, which are often elective and shoppable for patients.

Overall, 50.6% of hospitals did not disclose the prices for any of the 5 procedures, but 29.1% of hospitals disclosed the prices for all 5 procedures. 

Rates of price disclosure did not differ by hospital size but differed significantly across accreditation types, ownership, and overall Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services star rating (P <.05 for all).

Price nondisclosure was more likely for Comprehensive Community Cancer Programs (incident rate ratio [IRR], 1.25; 95% CI, 1.01-1.54; P =.039) and Community Cancer Programs (IRR, 1.49; 95% CI, 1.16-1.92; P =.002) but less likely for teaching hospitals (IRR, 0.815; 95% CI, 0.711-0.933; P =.003).

Price nondisclosure was associated with higher hospital margins (0.44% vs -2.03%; P =.005), higher cost markups (5.15 vs 4.53; P <.001), and higher occupancy rates (65.3% vs 63.2%; P =.03). 

For every 1-point increase in cost markup, there was a 4.8% increase in the likelihood of not disclosing surgical pricing (P <.001).

“We found that, despite ACS-CoC accreditation, more than half of the cancer centers did not disclose prices for 5 common oncologic procedures, which are often elective and shoppable for patients,” the researchers wrote. “These findings can help drive the momentum for value-based strategies as we create cost-conscious health systems.”

This article originally appeared on Cancer Therapy Advisor

References:

Zhang Y, Cerullo M, Esposito A, Golla V. Association between cancer center accreditation and compliance with price disclosure of common oncologic surgical proceduresJ Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2022;20(11):1215-1222.e1. doi:10.6004/jnccn.2022.7057