CMS Chief Acknowledges Flaws In Hospital Price Transparency Requirements But Says They’re An ‘Important First Step’
Since Jan. 1, hospitals must post a list of their standard charges in a machine-readable format on their website and update the information at least once a year, but many experts have said that those numbers are meaningless to consumers.
Verma: Chargemaster Rule Is 'First Step' To Price Transparency
CMS Administrator Seema Verma said Thursday that the agency is working to improve a new rule requiring hospitals to post chargemaster prices on their websites after experts said the data wouldn't help consumers. Acknowledging that chargemaster prices aren't accurate out-of-pocket costs for insured patients, Verma maintained the requirement is an "important first step" to increase price transparency. She said the agency is "working toward" addressing the concerns but also said "there is no reason hospitals can't do more." (Castellucci, 1/10)
In other hospital news —
Community Health Systems Falls Short Of 2018 Hospital Divestiture Target
Community Health Systems generated $400 million in gross proceeds on hospital divestitures in 2018, less than half of its $1.3 billion target, leaders from the hospital chain said Wednesday. Thomas Aaron, the Franklin, Tenn.-based hospital chain's CFO, confirmed before an audience at the J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference on Wednesday afternoon that the company fell short of its 2018 goal by about $900 million. The hospital chain had repeated the goal on multiple occasions last year, including in its third quarter results. (Bannow, 1/10)