Texas hospital fined for price transparency violation plans to appeal

One of the two hospitals recently fined by CMS for price transparency violations said it is now in compliance with the requirements and plans to appeal the fine, NBC affiliate KFDX reported May 4. 

Wichita Falls, Texas-based Kell West Regional Hospital was issued a $117,260 fine April 19 for alleged violations of the federal rule. 

Terry Stagg, Kell West's IT director, told KFDX that the company they paid to handle the posting of standard hospital charges and shoppable services in a consumer-friendly manner did not follow through with that obligation and the hospital has taken care of it themselves. 

Kell West CEO Jerry Myers, MD, told the outlet he doesn't expect any problems with the appeal because CMS has already fully confirmed compliance. 

The other hospital fined April 19 was Rochester, N.H.-based Frisbie Memorial Hospital. CMS issued the hospital a $102,660 fine and said in a notice that Frisbie has not submitted a corrective action plan and has not responded to the agency's attempts to contact the hospital.

A Frisbie spokesperson told Becker's in a statement:

"We were not initially aware of the attempts by CMS to contact the hospital. Then, due to a series of oversights, the hospital failed to acknowledge several voicemails from CMS. Once we recognized this issue, we promptly engaged CMS and are working to resolve any issues. Our hospital implemented the federal requirements in January 2021. Since then our hospital website has included a consumer-friendly Patient Payment Estimator tool that provides relevant information to help patients understand what their out-of-pocket responsibility may be for hospital care, including those that are uninsured. In addition, we have posted contracted rates with third party payers using one of the machine-readable file formats listed in the regulations to provide the five types of 'standard charges.'"

Frisbie Health's spokesperson did not comment on whether the hospital plans to file an appeal. 

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