Hospitals sue to block price-transparency rule

Reporter: Lauren Sweeney
Published: Updated:

Figuring outpatient out of pocket cost upfront for medical care can be an exhausting exercise, that the Trump administration hopes to streamline.

But hospitals are fighting it.

Hospital groups including the American Hospital Association are suing the Secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services over its price transparency rule.

All hospitals in the United States will be required to post consumer-friendly pricing information on their websites beginning in 2021.

The Department of Health and Human Services developed the rule after President Trump signed an executive order regarding price transparency in June.

The rule requires hospitals to make public five standard charge types for 300 common shoppable services.

The standard charge types include the gross charge before any discount or insurance negotiated prices, the charges negotiated by specific third party plans, and the discounted cash price.

Several hospital groups, including the American Hospital Association, filed a lawsuit against the Secretary of Health and Human Services in December asking a judge to vacate this rule.

The suit calls the rule unlawful, arbitrary and counter to logic.

“Hospitals should be ashamed if they aren’t willing to provide American patients the cost of a service before they purchase it. The Trump Administration is committed to providing patients the information they need to make their own informed healthcare decisions and will continue to fight for transparency in America’s healthcare system,” said Raymond Thorn, a spokesperson for the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, a division of Health and Human Services.

The rule would only apply to hospitals and not physicians’ offices.

WINK News conducted a price transparency experiment with several Southwest Florida physician’s offices.

TONIGHT AT 6: Find out who you should call first if you are trying to shop for prices for medical care.

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