CMS requests corrective action plan from 32 hospitals over undisclosed prices

CMS sent 32 hospitals requests for a corrective action plan after they still were not in compliance with the price disclosure rule, an agency spokesperson told Becker's Hospital Review on Oct. 14. 

Of the 32 hospitals that received corrective action plan requests, which is the second step in CMS' compliance process, six hospitals are now in compliance with the rule after addressing citations outlined in warning letters, according to CMS. 

In April 2021, CMS began sending warning letters to hospitals not in compliance with the regulation. As of late September, CMS has sent 316 warning notices to hospitals out of compliance with the rule, the agency told Becker's.

Hospitals have 90 days to address the findings in the noncompliance letter from CMS. The agency then re-reviews compliance upon expiration of that 90-day window. If the hospital is still not in compliance, it may receive a second warning letter or a request for a corrective action plan. If a hospital is still not compliant after this request, CMS may assign a penalty of up to $300 per day. 

CMS told Becker's it has not yet issued any civil monetary penalties to any hospitals for noncompliance with the rule but that, once it issues the fee, it will make the name of the hospital public. 

A recent analysis of 500 hospitals conducted by nonprofit Patient Rights Advocate found that 94.4 percent of hospitals haven't met at least one of the requirements since the rule took effect.

To boost compliance, CMS has proposed increasing the minimum fine for price transparency violations. Under the proposed rule, hospitals with more than 30 beds in violation of the rule would pay $10 per day for each bed, up to $5,500 per day. Hospitals with 30 beds or fewer would continue to pay up to $300 per day. This would make the annual penalty at least $109,500, or as high as $2 million a year for large hospitals that fail to make prices public. If the proposed rule is finalized the penalty increase would be effective Jan. 1.

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