Moving Along the Transparency Continuum – Hospitals to Publish Charges
In August 2018, CMS published the final rule concerning a requirement for hospitals to make their charges public information. This is not a new requirement, but rather a reminder that hospitals must comply with section 2718(e) of the Public Health Service Act. As part of this Act, hospitals were asked to provide their charges in response to public inquiries. The recently published rule includes additional language concerning how the data should be provided externally – “require hospitals to make available a list of their current standard charges via the Internet in a machine readable format and to update this information at least annually, or more often as appropriate.”
The impetus for this additional guidance is two-fold—President Trump’s desire for greater price transparency and public outcry over large patient healthcare liability (often due to out-of-network services).