A statewide Web site of bundled provider fees launched by the State of New Hampshire in 2007 did not receive much use among the state's consumers, according to new research from the California HealthCare Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

"Based on interviews with a broad range of health care stakeholders and experts, the research found a wide belief within the state's medical and policy communities that the transparency efforts were important in highlighting wide gaps in provider prices — particularly between hospital outpatient departments and freestanding facilities, but also among different hospitals," the CHCF said in a statement accompanying the research's publication. "However, the analysis also shows that consumer use of NHHealthCost.org has been modest and that the program did not fulfill a primary goal of directly encouraging consumer price-shopping."

The Web site is currently being updated, according to its home page.

"Unfortunately, a failure in the data reporting process has made updating price estimates at the moment impossible," its maintainers said. "These delays are temporary, but may last for several months. The good news is that we are working on enhancements to the HealthCost website that should be available later this year."

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