January 19, 2019

Hospitals to be required to post costs in January

29 December 2018, 11:11 | Silvia Roy

Hospitals required to make prices for services available online beginning January 1

Hospitals required to make prices for services available online beginning January 1

On Jan. 1, 2019, hospitals will need to comply with new U.S. Health and Human Services rules that call for greater transparency in pricing and billing.

But some consumer advocates are skeptical of the requirement, arguing that the final bill patients receive after insurance does not match the sticker price of services rendered.

According to the new rule, hospitals have to update their price lists at least once a year.

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Hospitals warn that the prices listed will likely vary from the actual prices charged to customers due to rates negotiated with insurance companies.

Currently, under the affordable care act, hospitals must release public price lists.

Critical access hospitals, psychiatric hospitals, and rehabilitation facilities will soon be required to list the prices of the procedures, surgeries, and medical supplies they offer, including drugs and anesthesia.

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Requiring hospitals to post their standard list of prices on the Internet and in a machine-readable format, rather than just being required to make them available in some capacity.

The program will require hospitals to disclose prices publicly starting January 1. He said some insurance companies are providing that information through price comparison tools.

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