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At least 65 percent of the top 100 largest hospitals were “unambiguously non-compliant” with a Trump administration policy requiring price transparency.
Health Affairs investigated the compliance of top hospitals by reviewing their records since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) enacted the law on January 1st, 2021. The study concluded only 22 hospitals succeeded in meeting policy standards. “12/65 (18 percent) did not post any files or provide links to searchable databases that were not downloadable. 53/65 (82 percent) either did not include the payer-specific negotiated rates with the name of payer and plan clearly associated with the charges or were in some other way non-compliant.”
To promote price transparency, the law instructs hospitals to publish “a machine-readable file containing a list of all standard charges for all items and services.” According to Health Affairs, “The theory underpinning this new rule is that the release of price information will stimulate market forces and, thus, work to lower rising health care costs.”
Previously, hospitals were only required to share chargemaster prices, which are baseline costs. However, chargemaster prices do not reflect insurance discounts, thereby inflating the price. The Trump administration’s policy redefined the standard for price transparency.
ARTICLE: ANTOINETTE AHO
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: POLITICO