Providers Are Fully Capable of Complying With Price Transparency Rules & Patients Deserve It Now
WASHINGTON, DC — Three hospitals and four healthcare industry groups seeking to block federal healthcare price transparency rules made their case today to U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols via video-conferencing in the AHA, et. al., v. Secretary Azar case.
In November 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a regulation requiring health providers to disclose their cash and negotiated contract prices to patients in a clear, easy-to-access format. The transparency rule will ensure that patients know the price of what they are buying upfront and will allow them to make better choices about their care.
Independent Women’s Law Center Director Jennifer C. Braceras said, “Transparency is extremely important for the nearly fifty percent of American patients with high deductible plans. If prices were available, many patients would comparison shop until their deductible is met. Research shows that such comparison shopping would likely have a market-wide price-lowering effect.”
The AHA and a consortium of other hospital groups filed suit against HHS in December 2019 to stop the price transparency rule. Today, they told Judge Nichols that they are not able to disclose this information.
But an amicus brief filed earlier this year by Independent Women’s Law Center and PatientRightsAdvocate.org notes that providers are, in fact, capable of complying with the rule since insurers routinely disclose these prices in their explanation of benefits statements — after it’s too late for patients to choose more cost-effective care.
According to a Harvard-Harris poll, a bipartisan 88% of Americans support government mandates for hospitals and insurance companies to show their prices.
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