Transparency is about fairness to patients, not status quo, CMS chief says

Amid pushback from hospitals, CMS Administrator Seema Verma recently reiterated her support for a price transparency rule that requires hospitals to disclose negotiated rates with insurers beginning in 2021, according to U.S. News & World Report.

"This is about patients, and our administration has been about putting patients first," Ms. Verma said during a Nov. 19 interview and panel discussion at the U.S. News Healthcare of Tomorrow summit  in Washington, D.C.

She told healthcare leaders: "Everybody's had the experience of going into a hospital, or going in for a healthcare service, and you have no idea what it's going to cost. That is simply not fair to the American people."

The Trump administration released the rule — as well as a health plan transparency proposal that would require insurers to share price and cost-sharing information with members before treatment — on Nov. 15.

The proposal was subsequently panned by healthcare groups that support price transparency in general but oppose the Trump administration's approach. The American Hospital Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, Children's Hospital Association and Federation of American Hospitals said in a joint statement that the four organizations soon will join with member hospitals to file a legal challenge to the rule because it "threatens to confuse patients" and doesn't provide them with out-of-pocket cost information.

Ms. Verma countered that groups oppose the measure "because they like the status quo." 

Read more of Ms. Verma's remarks from the summit here


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