Health care prices are rising, and too often people like us are not able to get the prices of the care we need before we receive it. We deserve to know prices of care at our hospitals. That’s why we urge the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to issue a final rule on hospital price transparency that does the following:
- Require hospitals to post prices that consumers can understand and rely on.
- Do not allow hospitals to post only estimates or average charges for services.
- Require hospitals to be bound by the published prices so consumers can budget for their expected bills.
- Require hospitals to post prices in easy to use formats, like Excel, that don’t require an expert data analyst to interpret.
- Require prices for medical services to be listed by identifiable codes that can be easily compared to the same codes used by health insurance plans.
- Improve government enforcement powers to make hospitals follow the pricing rule so the government can do more than “monitor and assess” whether hospitals are complying with the rule.