Hospitals Prepare To Issue Service Prices

December 11, 2020

MikeDotta / Shutterstock.com

The final rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requiring hospitals to release pricing information before providing services takes effect Jan. 1, 2021. Under the rule, hospitals must list standard prices for 300 shoppable services and the lowest prices they will accept from consumers paying out of pocket. 

Hospitals are readying for Jan. 1, when they expect they will have to publicly disclose the negotiated prices they reach with insurers for services performed inside their facilities — barring any intervention from a federal appeals court, according to MedTech Dive

Despite facing an extraordinary difficult year due to the coronavirus pandemic, many hospitals are moving toward, or are ready, to comply with posting prices online, compliance experts said. But some in the industry are skeptical as to how useful that information will be for consumers and whether it ultimately bends the cost curve in America.

These lists and how they are presented are going to vary from facility to facility, O'Rourke said. There's no requirement on where systems place these on their websites. That's similar to 2019, when hospitals had to post their initial charges online, or the prices before any negotiations with insurers. Hospitals could bury it on their websites.

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