On June 24th, 2019, President Trump signed an executive order on hospital and insurer price transparency. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will decide through rulemaking whether hospitals and insurers will need to publish individual rates or whether they can keep their pricing information more general and publish only aggregate rates. Administration officials did not confirm when the rulemaking will take place, saying only they will use “any and all regulatory vehicles” that can carry out its directives.
The language of the executive order is not public yet, but Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar laid out the five policies the order is set to address:
- HHS will need to issue the rule on hospital price disclosures, mandating that they disclose in an easy-to-read format the prices to reflect what insurers and patients actually pay.
- HHS will also, through rulemaking, require providers and insurers to disclose to patients their out-of-pocket cost before they go in for care.
- HHS will need to propose a way to consolidate quality measurers across all healthcare programs.
- HHS will look into how to store de-identified healthcare claims data so researchers can analyze it to make improvements to the system.
- The Treasury Department is tasked with expanding uses for health savings accounts.
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