Trump administration wants hospitals to publish prices online

Feds to require hospitals to post prices online

A number of states already have mandates about price transparency. But officials hope the changes will influence others in the US health care system.

"We seek to ensure the healthcare system puts patients first", Verma noted.

The proposed rules and request for comment are a follow up to Verma's March announcement during HIMSS18 in Las Vegas for better interoperability between providers and for patients.

"We are removing a total of 19 measures and are de-duplicating another 21 measures while keeping the focus where it should be-on reducing harm and creating better health outcomes for patients", said Verma. "Secretary Azar has made such a value-based transformation in our healthcare system a top priority for HHS, and CMS is taking important, concrete steps toward achieving it". CMS arrived at this increase based on a 2.8 percent market basket update and a 0.5 percentage point increase required by law, adjusted down 0.8 percentage points for productivity and 0.75 percentage points as required by the ACA. The changes reflect inclusion of payment changes extended through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. "CMS has also reduced burden by limiting the reporting periods to 90-days in 2019 and 2020". The payment increases are expected to create billions of dollars in additional Medicare spending.

Access CMS' fact sheet here. Medicare would also allocate an extra $1.5 billion to hospitals as padding to care for patients who can't afford treatment. Practices would also be eligible for performance-based incentives for total cost of care and quality.

The proposed rule also eliminates a number of redundant reporting measures that are a part of the IPPS and PPS programs. This updated technology includes the use of application programming interfaces (APIs), which have the potential to improve the flow of information between providers and patients.


Additionally, the rule removes requirements that Medicare A certification statements need comments about the location of specific medical information within medical records.

Here are 10 key takeaways from CMS' IPPS proposed rule.

Currently, hospitals must make their prices public, but the new rule requires the information to be posted online in a format that can be easily processed by computers, the Associated Press reported.

The agency added that it is seeking a request for information from stakeholders to address price transparency concerns. The new program has been recast using a scoring methodology that closely resembles the physician Quality Payment Program.

"We are removing measures that are topped-out - meaning the overwhelming majority of providers are performing well on them - duplicative measures, and measures that are excessively burdensome to report", stated Verma.

"We are just beginning on price transparency", Seema Verma, head of the CMS, told the AP.

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