Texas hospital price transparency rule poses strict penalties for violators

Under a new rule in Texas, large hospitals risk accumulating nearly $500,000 in fines after 31 days of price transparency violations, The Texan reported March 6. 

The rule was posted by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission on the state register nearly two years after the law was passed, according to the report. Under the rule, hospitals must update their chargemasters with actual prices, not ranges or estimates. Those prices must be posted on a publicly available, free-to-access, searchable database. 

The fine scale breaks hospitals into three categories based on their annual gross revenue, according to the report: hospitals making $100 million or more, those making between $10 million and $100 million and those making $10 million. 

For hospitals in the largest category, fines begin at $1,000 and increase by $1,000 each day, according to the report. After 31 days, those hospitals would owe $496,000 in fines. 

For middle-sized hospitals, the fine begins at $100, and they would owe $49,600 after 31 days. 

For small hospitals, the fine starts at $10, and they would owe $4,960 after 31 days. 

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