Several recent studies indicate that providers have been slow to fully comply with a 2019 Trump administration final rule requiring hospitals to disclose pricing information to consumers. The hospital price transparency regulation, which met stiff legal opposition from industry groups including the American Hospital Association, has not been enforced with gusto by the Biden administration, but experts say that might change — and that the rule isn’t going anywhere.
The price transparency rule requires hospitals to release “a machine-readable file containing a list of all standard charges for all items and services” to the public. The rule was part of the Trump administration’s larger push to make cost of care and medical data more transparent for consumers, a strategy that also includes a price transparency mandate for insurers (HPW 11/6/20, p. 1). Because of the pandemic, the hospital rule’s effective date was pushed back from November 2019 to January 2021. Hospitals that are not compliant can be assessed a penalty of up to $300 per day by CMS, a fine that would amount to $109,500 over a full year.