Hill Letter to US House: Vote “Yes” on Lower Costs, More Transparency

The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act will help lower health care costs for millions of Americans across the nation.

Dear Representative,

On behalf of U.S. PIRG (the Public Interest Research Group) and our two dozen state affiliate PIRGs, we urge you to support HR 5378, The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act. This bipartisan package includes important provisions to begin to address skyrocketing health care costs, including:

  1. Strengthening price transparency regulations, including meaningful enforcement;
  2. Implementing site-neutral payments for certain services; and
  3. Requiring off-campus hospital locations to have separate identifiers for billing purposes.

Health systems’ purchases of independent offices and clinics has led to billing abuses that raise the costs of medical bills for patients, payers, and governments. That’s why we need The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act (LCMT Act).

Patients deserve clear, up-front prices before they receive their health care. The LCMT Act improves price transparency by requiring dollars and cents prices from hospitals and expanding transparency requirements to additional sites of care, such as ambulatory surgical centers.

“Same service, same price” policies will save money by eliminating price differences based on location. The LCMT Act establishes site-neutral payment for physician-administered medications, limiting providers’ ability to tack “hospital charges” onto services that don’t require the full services of a hospital.

Patients shouldn’t pay more just because their physician group is now owned by a health system. The LCMT Act requires separate billing identifiers for non-hospital settings, preventing those providers from billing for medical services as though they were provided in a hospital.

With transparent prices and tools in place to lower costs, the LCMT Act will bring about important patient billing protections. We urge you to vote yes on HR 5378, The Lower Costs More Transparency Act, in order to codify hospital price transparency and accountability, as well as take the first step to payment practices based on service rather than location or ownership. Your YES vote will help lower health care costs for millions of Americans – in your district and across the nation.

If you would like to discuss this issue or have a question, please contact Maribeth Guarino ([email protected], 732-439-3330). Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

US PIRG

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Maribeth Guarino

High Value Health Care, Advocate, PIRG

Maribeth educates lawmakers and the public about problems in health care and pushes for workable solutions. When she's not researching or lobbying, Maribeth likes to read, play games, and paint.

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