Raise the price transparency noncompliance fee from $300 to $5.5K a day, researchers say

Federal price transparency rules are doing an insufficient job at maximizing savings related to healthcare costs, according to a research released Sept. 14 by Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Many hospitals are not yet compliant with CMS' price transparency rule, which took effect Jan. 1. It requires hospitals to post a machine-readable file with the negotiated rates for all items and services and display the prices of 300 shoppable services in a consumer-friendly format. 

The rule aims to save Americans money by allowing them to price shop for healthcare services. In many cases, hospitals that have posted the data hide it from web search engines or provide it in a format that makes analysis difficult, according to the report.

The researchers provided the following three suggestions to improve price transparency compliance:

  1. Increase the maximum noncompliance fee from $300 per day to $5,500 per day.

  2. Require hospitals to present data uniformly through a machine-readable template that complies with CMS' regulations.

  3. Ask hospitals to display their commercial and Medicare rates side-by-side.

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