Hospitals across Colorado must begin posting self-pay prices Monday for the most common procedures and treatments they offer — a potential first step in bringing more cost transparency to a sector whose pricing ambiguity has frustrated consumers and public officials alike.

The move is mandated by Colorado Senate Bill 65, a 2017 measure from Republican Sen. Kevin Lundberg of Berthoud aimed at requiring health-care providers to be able to tell people who are paying bills without the help of insurance what a procedure will cost before they get those services. Medical pricing transparency demans are gaining traction on both state and local levels.

Under the new law, health-care facilities such as hospitals must post the self-pay prices for the 50 most used diagnosis-related group codes — the most common reasons for hospitalizations — and the 25 most-used current procedural technology billing codes. Those prices can reflect the most frequent charge over the past 12 months for a service, the highest charge from the lowest half of all the charges for the service or a range that includes the middle 50 percent of all charges for the service. The facility must have performed a service at least 11 times in the past year.

Physicians’ offices and other individual health-care providers, meanwhile, are required just to post the prices for their 15 most common procedures.

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