Year after year, hospitals account for the largest expenditure of US health care dollars, followed by physician and clinical services, of which over half are owned by a hospital or a hospital-affiliated health system. To address rising health care costs, state policymakers and the public need detailed hospital financial information to understand a hospital’s assets as well as its expenses and liabilities.
The National Academy for State Health Policy’s (NASHP) hospital financial transparency model legislation identifies what data must be collected, which hospital documents should be used to obtain the information, and underscores that a state agency or office must be responsible for analyzing the data. NASHP also provides a reporting template to help states implement the law and collect the information needed to evaluate the vitality of a state’s hospitals.
Model Legislation: Model Act to Ensure Financial Transparency in [Name of State]’s Hospitals and Health Care Systems, August 2020.
Model Template: Hospital Financial Transparency Report Template, August 2020. Download this reporting template to use or adapt to implement the hospital financial transparency law. The template is designed to capture the data required by NASHP’s model legislation.
The Access Project: A Community Leader’s Guide to Hospital Finance, 2020. This report, prepared by Sarah Gunther Lane, MS, Elizabeth Longstreth, BA, Victoria Nixon, MS, and Nancy Kane, DBA, provides an overview of the key questions policymakers can ask to understand hospital financial performance, including background on hospital revenues and expenses, sources of financial information, and evaluations of financial health.