Can you imagine going into the grocery store and picking things off of the shelf, going to pay and only then seeing the prices? Talk about a negative surprise! And yet that’s pretty much how our hospitals work right now. And of course, if you don’t know how much things cost, then how can you shop around for the best pricing? Short answer: you won’t and you actually can’t.
But that may be changing soon (at least for hospitals) come January 1, 2019. Under a new rule finalized by the Trump administration last week, hospitals will be required to post online a list of their standard charges. While hospitals are already required to make this information public on request, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the new requirement will “encourage price transparency” and bolster “public accessibility.” Hospitals will be mandated to update the information yearly.
Seema Verma, CMS administrator, discussed the administration’s approach to improving price transparency in a recent speech. “This is a small step toward providing our beneficiaries with price transparency, but our work in this area is only just beginning,” said Verma, as noted by The Hill. “Price transparency is core to patient empowerment and making sure American patients have the tools they need so they can make the best decisions for them and their families.”
Ruling your world is about having ALL of the information so you and your employees can make the best decisions. For any procedure, you can request pricing and sometimes your current insurance provider has tools to find out what things will cost. If you or your employees need help with any of this stuff, call my team of employee benefits and healthcare insurance experts to clear away the mess and help you see things more clearly.
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Good for Patients: Trump Administration Finalizes Rule Forcing Hospitals to Post Prices Online