CMS Steps Up Price Transparency Enforcement for Hospitals
By Consumers for Quality Care, on March 22, 2023
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued nearly 500 warnings to hospitals since January in an increased effort to hold hospitals accountable for not meeting federal price transparency requirements, according to an article for Health Affairs and reported by Fierce Healthcare.
In addition to the nearly 500 warnings, CMS also issued more than 230 requests for corrective action plans. These efforts seem to be working, as almost 300 of these hospitals have addressed the issues raised by the agency and are now compliant with price transparency requirements.
The federal price transparency requirements, which took effect on January 1, 2021, require hospitals to post a comprehensive list of their services and prices in an easy-to-read format to help consumers compare prices for their health care.
The authors of the Health Affairs article, Dr. Meena Seshamani and Dr. Douglas Jacobs, both with CMS, noted that compliance with the price transparency rules have increased since the law went into effect, crediting several factors for this success, including, “efforts to educate, monitor and enforce the regulations with increased applicable potential penalty amounts, along with heightened public interest and scrutiny.”
CQC is encouraged by CMS’s increased action and oversight to ensure hospitals are releasing pricing data in a timely, accessible way that benefits consumers. Patients have a right to the information they need to compare costs, and hospitals should be held accountable when they fail to provide this information.