The hospital price transparency rule takes effect on January 1, requiring providers to publicize their rates for all items and services.
“Starting January 1, 2019, hospitals will be required to post their price lists online in an effort to increase price transparency and empower consumers to make informed choices about their care.
“The mandate stems from the 2019 inpatient and long-term care hospital prospective payment system (IPPS/LTCH PPS) final rule, released in August, in which CMS included the requirement for hospitals to update their public price lists at least annually.
“‘The policies in the IPPS/LTCH PPS final rule further advance the agency’s priority of creating a patient-centered healthcare system by achieving greater price transparency, interoperability, and significant burden reduction so that hospitals can operate with better flexibility and patients have what they need to be active healthcare consumers,’ CMS wrote…
“While hospitals can choose the format for presenting the data, as long as it’s machine-readable, the list must include all items and services provided by the facility, CMS stated.
“‘CMS encourages hospitals to undertake efforts to engage in consumer friendly communication of their charges to help patients understand what their potential financial liability might be for services they obtain at the hospital, and to enable patients to compare charges for similar services across hospitals,’ the agency said.”
Source: Jennifer Bresnick, “HealthPayer Intelligence”