Hospital Transparency

Hospital Price Transparency Initiative


As large employers enroll roughly half of the US population into sponsored health plans, they are in a strong position to demand increased value from the healthcare system. However, they often lack the right cost information to show what they are really paying for healthcare services. A 2013-2016 study of about a dozen self-funded large employers revealed prices for hospitals services in the state of Indiana that were far above what was considered normal.

This landmark study sparked a 2.0 version with results launch in the spring of 2019. This analysis expanded the number of hospitals to over 1,600 in 25 states and included claims data from dozens of self-funded employers, two state-based all-payer claims databases (APCDs) and one or more health plans.

A 3.0 study will be conducted in the fall of 2019 and will include additional states and hospitals. The results are anticipated for release in late 2020.

Our Next Steps

As RAND expands the scope of its analysis, the more valuable the results of this three-year study will be for employers to help inform their local strategy to pay for value.

Featured Resources

Achieving Value in Mental Health Support

Employer Hospital Price Transparency Project

Use the information and resources on this site to learn more about the study, review the data collected, and learn how to participate in future studies.


Rand 2.0 Study

Study conducted by RAND Corporation and Employers' Forum of Indiana on hospital price transparency. 


Employers Taking Action to Improve Hospital Transparency

Webinar on the results of an important National Hospital Price Transparency study released in May 2019.

Featured Coalitions in Action

Houston Business Health CoalitionThe RAND Hospital Price Transparency project has galvanized Houston employers like no other initiative. It has led to the creation of the HBCH Value-Based Purchasing Task Force. HBCH members believe it is the critical dataset to accelerate the market away from fee-for-service toward value-based purchasing. RAND 3.0 will further support employer efforts by including quality ratings subdivided by service location and type of service. Employers will now realize that pricing and quality do not always correlate. Implementation is expected in 2021. Learn more.
Bringing awareness to the wide price variation that exists for inpatient treatments was the goal of the Washington Health Alliance’s analysis of 171 treatments in 2016. Using the commercially contracted fees negotiated between insurers and providers for physicians and facilities, the Washington Health Alliance’s website allows the public to see the statewide variation low, median and high price ranges for many common inpatient treatments, as well as the difference within facilities.  Learn more.

Our Collective Value Agenda:

Uniting and raising our voices together

  • Support employers to become more informed healthcare decision-makers
  • Develop an aligned strategy that is capable of materially increasing value from the healthcare system
  • Provide employer-specific private reports
  • Learn strategies that will gradually rein in unreasonably high prices, especially for hospital outpatient services
  • Work with other employers and business coalitions across the country to advocate for changes in how contracts are developed and negotiated
  • Over the longer term, employers can support efforts to promote competition in health care markets by opposing consolidation among existing providers and promoting entry of new, lower-priced providers
“The aim of the Hospital Transparency Initiative is to improve the value payers and patients receive for their healthcare expenditures.”

Gloria Sachdev, PharmD, President and CEO, Employers’ Forum of Indiana and Hospital Transparency Initiative Advisor