PIRG builds on campaign to improve hospital price transparency to drive down high prices in health care

Health care

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.

PIRG submitted more detailed organizational comments and included a recommendation to expand site-neutral payment policies to more health care facilities and physician offices.

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Patricia Kelmar

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 policy advisor at NJ Health Care Quality Institute, associate state director at AARP New Jersey and consumer advocate at NJPIRG. She was appointed to the Ground Ambulance and Patient Billing Advisory Committee in 2022 and works with patient advocates across the U.S. Patricia enjoys walking along the Potomac River and sharing her love of books with friends and family around the world.

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