2 hospitals fined for price transparency violations

CMS has issued fines to two hospitals for alleged price transparency violations. 

Rochester, N.H.-based Frisbie Memorial Hospital was issued a $102,660 fine April 19. Wichita Falls, Texas-based Kell West Regional Hospital was issued a $117,260 fine that same day. 

The fines are the third and fourth CMS has issued to hospitals for violating federal price transparency laws. Atlanta-based Northside Hospital was fined $883,180 and Northside Hospital Cherokee in Canton, Ga., was fined $214,320 in June. 

According to the notice CMS sent to Frisbie, the agency first issued a warning notice to the hospital on Aug. 25, 2021. It reviewed Frisbie's machine-readable file again on Oct. 24, 2022, and determined the hospital remained noncompliant with the price transparency requirements. CMS issued a corrective action plan request Nov. 2. 

CMS said in the notice that Frisbie has not submitted a corrective action plan and has not responded to the agency's attempts to contact the hospital. 

According to the notice CMS sent to Kell West, the agency issued a warning notice to the hospital on July 27, 2022. After another review, CMS issued a corrective action plan request on Nov. 7. Kell West submitted a plan on Dec. 22 with a proposed completion date of Feb. 15. CMS requested a revision Jan. 6 and the revised plan was approved by the agency Jan. 25. 

CMS completed a review of Kell West's website on March 31 and found the hospital remained out of compliance with requirements for standard hospital charges and displaying shoppable services in a consumer-friendly manner. 

The hospitals have 30 days from the issuance date to appeal the fines. 

Frisbie and Kell West did not immediately return messages from Becker's seeking comment regarding the fines. 

CMS said in an April 26 news release that it has issued more than 730 warnings and issued 269 corrective action plan requests to hospitals not complying with price transparency laws as of April 2023. 

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