By Consumers For Quality Care, on November 17, 2021
According to Healthcare Dive, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized plans this month to increase fines for hospitals who do not comply with price transparency requirements, as well as extended telehealth coverage through the end of 2023.
The fine levied against hospitals which do not comply with the price transparency requirements could be as large as $2 million for larger facilities.
This news comes as CMS noted its “initial analysis strongly suggests there is sub-optimal compliance” with the price transparency requirements. A Journal of American Medicine study from June found that, in a sample of 100 random hospitals and 100 of the highest-earning hospitals, only 17 percent were compliant.
CMS also announced that telehealth services that had been temporarily covered by Medicare during the COVID-19 pandemic will be covered through the end of 2023. The agency is evaluating whether the coverage should become permanent. They are also eliminating geographic barriers for telehealth mental health services, meaning patients can receive care virtually across state lines.
These are both positive moves that should empower consumers and expand their access to quality health care.