This week PIRG submitted comments signed by over 12,000 people asking the federal government to improve the proposed rule to improve how hospitals publish their prices for services and treatment. The comments asked for 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.
Senior Director, Health Care Campaigns, U.S. PIRG Education Fund
Patricia directs the health care campaign work for U.S. PIRG and provides support to our state offices for state-based health initiatives. Her prior roles include senior director of health policy with the National Consumers League, senior policy advisor at NJ Health Care Quality Institute, and consumer advocate at NJPIRG. She serves on the board of the Patient and Caregiver Engagement Advisory Group for the National Quality Forum. Patricia enjoys walks along the Potomac and sharing her love of books with her friends and family around the world.