District of Columbia — In connection with an executive order signed last month by President Donald Trump, the Trump Administration has proposed a new rule requiring hospitals to disclose their negotiated prices with insurers, setting up for likely another legal battle with the industry. The rule is the latest proposal in an effort to lower healthcare costs by requiring transparency on prices, moves that the Trump Administration argues would produce a more competitive market and lower prices.
The rule requires 6,000 + hospitals to post their prices for common services that are considered “shoppable”, such as MRI’s and outpatient services. Patients would be able to use search criteria to find specific hospitals and match them up with a particular health care plan. The information is limited though, since patients couldn’t see their actual out of pocket expenses, only the prices that were negotiated. If the rule goes into effect, which is supposed to happen in January, hospitals would face a $300 per day penalty for non-compliance. Earlier in July, a federal judge ruled that the Administration cannot require drug makers to disclose their prices in TV ads, saying that the Department of Health and Human Services didn’t have the authority to do so.