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State Weighs Adding Data To Health Transparency Site

There is no “launch date” for new data to be uploaded to a Florida website aimed at improving health-care price transparency, a top state official told members of an advisory council on Thursday. 

Molly McKinstry, deputy secretary for health quality assurance at the Agency for Health Care Administration, said the state hasn’t decided when to make the updated cost information about care at local hospitals available on the FloridaHealthPriceFinder website.

“That’s something we’re considering,” McKinstry told members of the State Consumer Health Information and Policy Advisory Council when asked about the agency's plans.

The council assists the agency in how the state collects and shares health care data and recommends improvements.

The health care transparency website was a top priority for Gov. Rick Scott during the 2016 legislative session.

The hospital-specific "cost" information will be based on claims data Florida insurers are required to submit to the state.

The state signed a contract with Health Care Cost Institute, or HCCI, to administer the database and to develop a consumer-friendly website.

HCCI was founded in 2011 by four insurance companies, including Aetna, Humana, and UnitedHealthcare --- all of which write coverage in Florida and have voluntarily submitted the claims.

An early iteration of the site based on claims data from those three insurers had no data for 71 hospitals in 48 counties scattered across the state, including heavily populated Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties and rural counties in the Panhandle, according to the Florida Hospital Association.

The state initially said it wanted to make the site available to the public in June but has held off.