Thanks to the Trump administration, the days of hospitals charging us whatever the heck they feel like will soon be behind us! Starting in 2021 health coverage providers will be required to give patients DETAILED information, showing exactly what everything really cost.
That means no more being secretly charged $400 for something simple, like a bandaid. They can’t get away with massive hidden prices anymore!
This is a huge step for the American people when it comes to our healthcare system.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) — the arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that oversees Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act public exchange system — has posted a preview version of a final cost transparency rule for hospitals on the CMS website.
CMS has also started the process of trying to require health insurers and group health plans to reveal what patients’ true out-of-pocket costs will be for specific services from specific providers.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma said that “health care prices are about as clear as mud to patients.” She added, “Today’s rules usher in a new era that upends the status quo to empower patients and put them first.”
The hospital cost transparency regulations require hospitals to publish a much more comprehensive set of charge information, in a single standard data file, on the Internet, starting in 2021.
According to CMS, the file is required to include “all hospital standard charges (including the gross charges, payer-specific negotiated charges, the amount the hospital is willing to accept in cash from a patient, and the minimum and maximum negotiated charges) for all items and services.”
America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) has traditionally resisted many federal and state cost transparency measures, on the grounds that they would disrupt plan-provider negotiations and reduce plans’ bargaining clout.
AHIP President Matt Eyles said that they have concerns about the transparency. “Every American should be able to get personalized health care cost and quality information before they seek care,” Eyles continued, “Actionable and personalized information will help patients make informed decisions that are best for their needs.”
But transparency “should aid and support patient decision-making, should not undermine competitive negotiations that lower patients’ health care costs,” he added, “We will continue to engage collaboratively with the administration and other health care stakeholders on how we can best work together to achieve lower prices and costs while protecting health care quality, choice, value, and privacy for the hardworking Americans we serve.”
What do you think?