By Consumers for Quality Care, on January 3, 2024
With overwhelming bipartisan support, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act, which includes a number of reforms to the health care sector aimed at benefiting consumers, as reported by Stat News.
If passed into law, the bill would:
- Codify existing federal price transparency rules into law.
- Extend these rules so that they apply not only to hospitals and insurers but also lab-test providers, ambulatory surgical centers, and other health care providers.
- Prohibit hospitals from charging more than what physicians’ offices would charge for certain medications.
- Rein in pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) by banning a practice known as “spread pricing.” With spread pricing, PBMs negotiate discounts on prescription drugs but then charge the patient and their insurer full price for those drugs.
CQC applauds all efforts to improve hospital price transparency and ensure that hospitals are publishing their pricing data in a timely and accessible way. CQC also urges lawmakers and regulators to scrutinize PBM practices that are driving up the cost of prescription medications for consumers.