New Rule Requires Hospitals to Post Prices Online

New Rule Requires Hospitals to Post Prices Online
Photo by goodluz / Shutterstock.com

You will soon be able to find the prices that a hospital charges online.

A recently finalized federal regulation includes a provision that requires hospitals to make a list of their current standard charges available online and to update the list at least annually. This provision takes effect Jan. 1.

The new rule “will affect approximately 3,330 acute care hospitals,” according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that issues a new version of the regulation each year.

CMS described the provision on hospital charges as part of “an effort to encourage price transparency” by giving the public more accessibility to pricing information.

Federal law already requires hospitals to establish a list of their standard charges and make it available to the public. But currently, they are only required to make it available upon request, according to the industry publication Becker’s Hospital Review.

Potential downsides

While requiring hospitals to post prices online is a step in the right direction for consumers, some health care providers are concerned that it could confuse consumers, Modern Healthcare reports.

The publication explains:

“Hospitals argue that a list of charges could be misleading because they don’t reflect prices negotiated by insurers. In addition, not-for-profit hospitals must provide reduced rates or charity care based on patient household income.”

Other health care providers tell Modern Healthcare that increased price transparency could prompt some patients to avoid seeking care.

Similar changes

The hospital charge provision comes amid other efforts by federal agencies to increase health care price transparency.

We detail the results of some of those other efforts in:

What’s your take on this news? Sound off below or over on our Facebook page.

Read Next

14 Service Providers Most Likely to Lower Your Bill If You Ask
14 Service Providers Most Likely to Lower Your Bill If You Ask

With these companies, it might be easier than you think to negotiate your monthly bill down.

21 Generic Brands That Amazon Created
21 Generic Brands That Amazon Created

Amazon’s growing collection of private brands offers everything from paper towels and groceries to furniture and clothing.

16 of the Most Outrageously Overpriced Products
16 of the Most Outrageously Overpriced Products

Retailers mark up products by hundreds of times their cost — but you don’t have to pay the premium.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Comments

Trending Stories