December 28, 2018
Every hospital in the United States will be required to post prices for treatments beginning on the first day of the new year. Under the Affordable Care Act, hospitals already release a tangible list of prices, but this digital rule is being implemented in an attempt to increase economic transparency for patients.
Allowing patients to see prices for care by hospital gives them the opportunity to compare costs. Secretary US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Alex Azar, released a statement saying, “This payment proposal takes important steps toward a Medicare system that puts patients in charge of their care and allows them to receive the quality and price information needed to drive competition and increase value,” Read the entire statement on the HHS website.
Some hospital employees are opposed to the new law, claiming that patients could get confused and avoid seeking help if they see the amount in full. Other concerns include misalignment of what insurance companies offer and hospitals that create their prices based on income.