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Tackling True Cost Transparency in Healthcare

June 19, 2019 / Kayt Sukel
SHARESHARESHARE

United States health agencies are doubling down on calls for price transparency across healthcare.
Earlier this year, the HHS released a new proposed rule calling for hospitals to disclose their privately negotiated rates with insurance plans. This was quickly followed by a requirement from CMS that hospitals post standard charges for services on their websites as well as a call by HHS for pharmaceutical manufacturers to publish list prices of drugs that cost more than $35 per month on their television advertisements. Many expect to see more rules, perhaps even executive orders, pushing other forms of price transparency coming down the pipeline in the near future.Supporters of these actions suggest that such regulations can not only help balance the healthcare market, plagued by skyrocketing costs to both healthcare entities and patients, but also provide consumers the ability to better price and shop for their doctor appointments and surgical procedures.But Jay Wolfson, DrPH, JD, associate vice president for health law, policy, and safety at the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida, says theres just one issue the list prices that many organizations will be required to share are fairly irrelevant.