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Trump Administration Price-Transparency Rule Covering Hospitals Upheld

American Hospital Association had sued to block price-disclosure requirement

By Stephanie Armour | 23 June 2020

WALL STREET JOURNAL — The American Hospital Association lost its legal bid to stop the Trump administration from requiring hospitals to disclose secret rates they negotiate with insurance companies, a victory for one of President Trump’s central health-policy initiatives. …

The rule could upend the $1 trillion hospital industry because it unveils rates long guarded as trade secrets. …

It requires hospitals to publicize the rates they negotiate with individual insurers for all services, including drugs, supplies, facility fees and care by doctors who work for the facility. It is scheduled to take effect in January 2021, with hospitals facing fines of up to $300 a day if they don’t disclose negotiated rates. …

Central to that strategy is the notion that more price transparency will inject greater competition into the market and lower costs.

“The new rule seeks to disrupt the pricing games we’ve inherited from a prior health-care era which increases sticker prices as it increases secret discounts,” said Marty Makary, health-policy professor at Johns Hopkins University and author of the book “The Price We Pay.” Dr. Makary worked with the White House on the price-disclosure proposal. […]

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