A. In order to advance transparency in health care and provide patients and families with better information on which to judge value among their treatment options, the Commissioner shall negotiate and contract with a nonprofit organization authorized under § 32.1-276.4 for an annual survey of carriers offering private group health insurance policies, which are subject to HEDIS reporting, to determine the reimbursement that is paid for a minimum of 25 most frequently reported health care services which may include inpatient and outpatient diagnostic services, surgical services or the treatment of certain conditions or diseases. Each carrier shall report the average reimbursement paid for a specific service from all providers and provider types, to include hospitals, outpatient or ambulatory surgery centers and physician offices. The survey shall also include, when available, the average reimbursement rates for the same services provided for reimbursement by fee-for-service Medicare and Medicaid. The survey shall be managed by the Commissioner to insure that when such information is reported it will provide the aggregate information so that readers will be able to determine the average amount of reimbursement paid for specific healthcare services. No provider, facility or carrier specific reimbursement information shall be included in the public survey reports. Such specific information shall be deemed proprietary and shall not be disclosed to the public; only the Commissioner will have access to the underlying survey data. The public survey reports shall be made available to the public through an Internet Website operated by the contracting organization.
The Commissioner, in conjunction with stakeholders working through the non-profit organization, shall work to (i) incorporate existing service quality data and guidance to the price information to further assist informed consumer choice to the extent it is practical and consistent with generally accepted national guidelines, and (ii) seek over time to display price and quality information for episodes of care in a manner which is consistent with generally accepted national guidelines.
B. The information acquired in the survey and provided to the Commissioner shall be confidential and shall be excluded from the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.) pursuant to subdivision 21 of § 2.2-3705.6.
2008, cc. 71, 102.