Hospitals identify possible compromise in battle over price disclosure

Industry groups representing hospitals and health systems across the nation sued HHS last year, challenging a rule that requires hospitals to disclose the rates they negotiate with insurers beginning in 2021. The groups recently argued there's a potential compromise in the price disclosure fight included in a proposed rule, according to Bloomberg Law

Under a final rule issued in November, hospitals are required to disclose the standard charges, including payer-specific negotiated rates, for all services beginning next year. The American Hospital Association, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the Children's Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals sued HHS in December, arguing the department lacks statutory authority to require public disclosure of individually negotiated rates between commercial insurers and hospitals. 

HHS argues its definition of standard charges is permissible under a 2010 law enacted to lower the cost of healthcare coverage, according to the report. 

Both sides filed motions for summary judgment, and lawyers representing the hospital groups made their arguments to a judge last month. They claim HHS has already come up with a potential compromise in the case. 

When CMS unveiled the final price transparency rule, it released a similar proposed rule for insurers. The proposal would require health insurance companies to tell members how much they'll owe out of pocket for healthcare services. The rule requires insurers to disclose their negotiated rates with hospitals, but only if it's relevant to how much the member will owe out of pocket, according to Bloomberg Law

The hospital groups argue that the proposed rule for insures would accomplish the same goal as the hospital price transparency rule finalized last year. 

A judge is expected to rule on the dueling motions for summary judgement within the next few months. 

Access the full Bloomberg Law article here

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