Hospital price transparency rule could challenge IT budgets, systems

Hospitals lost their appeal of the rule that requires disclosing negotiated rates with insurers beginning in 2021, which could lead to IT issues, according to The Wall Street Journal.

In their 2019 lawsuit, the American Hospital Association, Association of American Medical Colleges, Children's Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals said the price transparency rule will require hospitals to create files with hundreds to thousands of columns of negotiated rates.

"In addition to descriptions, codes, and gross charges, the spreadsheet would need to include separate columns for each health plan issuer contract. Many hospitals and health systems have over 100 contracts with different health plans issuers, often with multiple contracted rates depending on the type of health plan," the groups said. "Hospitals and health systems report that a file of this size could easily crash most standard computer systems, and some members worry about the ability of their websites to function at all with such a large file."

Under the final rule issued in November 2019, hospitals are required to disclose the standard charges, including payer-specific negotiated rates, for 300 services beginning Jan. 1 and post them online. The lawsuit states that hospitals are worried about the ability of their websites to handle the large files.

Learn more about the final rule and appeal.

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