Less than 6% of hospitals are fully compliant with the federal requirement that health systems publicly disclose the prices they pay for health care, according to a recently published report.
More than 80% of 500 randomly selected hospitals did not disclose negotiated charges with third-party payers, half did not disclose any negotiated fees and about 40% did not disclose discounted cash prices, according to a Advocacy analysis of patients ’rights conducted from May to July. The vast majority of hospitals have not posted all payer-specific and plan-specific negotiated fees.
While many hospitals have apparently taken a stand-by approach to the rule amid the change of leadership in the White House, President Joe Biden has tightened President Donald Trump’s price transparency rule in a recent general executive order. which aims to stimulate economic competition.
“As President Biden said,‘ Capitalism without competition is not capitalism. It’s exploitative, ”and that’s exactly what hospitals do to American consumers by slashing prices and refusing to abide by the price transparency rule,” Cynthia Fisher, founder and CEO of Patient Rights Advocate, said in a statement. print. The hospital’s price transparency rule, which went into effect Jan. 1, has the potential to shift power from hospitals and into the hands of consumers, he said.
Ideally, the publication of specific negotiated rates for payers with charging masters, discounted cash prices, and minimum and maximum negotiated rates allow consumers to be better health care buyers, encouraging suppliers at lower prices. Non-compliant hospitals also face a $ 300 daily fine if they don’t disclose fees for 300 ”salable services in a consumer-friendly way.
Hospitals argue that consumers largely do not use existing price estimators, highly deductible health plans have not stimulated more health “shopping” and that disclosing specific rates to the payer could ultimately increase prices as much as possible. lower cost providers adapt to the average. Meanwhile, economists and policy experts they say that profits or data have not been readily available to facilitate price comparison and that high-cost suppliers will be forced to justify strong price variation.
Several other studies have identified hospital failure, but not in line with Patient Rights Advocate’s analysis. Only 17 out of 100 randomly selected hospitals have published their prices, the researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association last month. About two-thirds of health care systems do not meet the requirements of the rule, according to a Health study of 100 providers surveyed as of February.
CMS began monitoring the websites and reviewing the complaints submitted to the agency shortly after the rule went into effect. In April, the agency issued its first round of warning letters to hospitals and gave facilities 90 days to comply.