Question of the Week


Are there guidelines to follow in terms of sharing cost information with physicians? For example, a cardio-thoracic surgeon has asked about the “invoice” cost of products/supplies used in his cases.  Can we share that information with him?


Before giving physicians prices, the hospital should review any agreements that the hospital has with applicable vendors or with a group purchasing organization.  There are frequently confidentiality provisions in those agreements which would prohibit the hospital from sharing this data with physicians or anyone else.  If there are no such prohibitions in the agreements, then it would be permissible for the hospital to share pricing information with physicians as long as those physicians do not work for one of the hospital’s competitors.