By: Jack O’Brien featuring IWF Policy Director Hadley Heath Manning
About a month ago, a federal judge upheld a final rule issued by the Trump administration mandating two price transparency measures for hospitals.
The final rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will require hospitals to provide patients with easily accessible information about gross changes, payer-specific negotiated charges, discounted cash prices, and “deidentified” minimum and maximum negotiated charges.
Additionally, the final rule also mandates that hospitals publicly display negotiated charges for 300 shoppable services on their websites in a consumer-friendly manner.
Failure to comply with the final rule, which is slated to go into effect on January 1, 2021, will result in monetary fines of $300 per day. The American Hospital Association and three other hospital associations said they will appeal the ruling.
BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR TRANSPARENCY
The bipartisan support for price transparency is a sign that there’s a desire among both lawmakers and consumers for market-based healthcare, according to Hadley Heath Manning, director of policy at Independent Women’s Forum, a conservative nonprofit policy organization.
Manning says that both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden share a focus on promoting price transparency to help healthcare consumers, which means that regardless of how the election turns out in November, this policy will continue to be supported by the next administration in 2021.
She adds that this final rule will demonstrate which providers are of higher or lower value, and will help consumers make more informed decisions.
“[Price transparency] is not an end in itself; it’s a means to an end,” Manning says. “You [enact] transparency not just for the sake of transparency, which is an inherently good thing. But it’s a good thing because it offers patients more financial security and control. And, ultimately, we hope [it] drives down healthcare costs.”
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