AHA advises members to prepare for healthcare pricing investigation

The American Hospital Association put out an advisory encouraging its hospital members to prepare for a yearlong media investigation into healthcare pricing conducted by Vox Media Senior Correspondent Sarah Kliff.

"We encourage you and your entire team to be certain that you remain familiar with your organization's policies and procedures on patient billing, financial assistance policies and how to talk about them with patients, their families and the public," AHA said in a statement to members.

The project's first focus is emergency department facility fees, which can range from $533 to more than $3,000, according to Ms. Kliff. She is soliciting facility fee bills from readers who have visited an emergency department in the U.S. within the past five years.

The AHA advised hospitals to identify spokespeople who can talk about pricing and billing, discuss these ideas among staff, and prepare to share information about billing and price transparency. An AHA spokesperson told Becker's in an email the advisory was for members only. "We alert members to news stories that are relevant," said Marie Johnson, vice president of media relations and digital media at AHA.

Editor's note: Please note Vox Senior Correspondent Sarah Kliff, who is not affiliated with Becker's Healthcare, is a keynote speaker at the Becker's Hospital Review 9th Annual Meeting, along with together with Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Teri Fontenot, John Noseworthy, MD, and Bernard Tyson, among other hospital and healthcare leaders. Click here to learn more.

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