‘Fanciful, Inflated, Difficult To Decode And Inconsistent’: Experts Blast Rules Requiring Hospitals To Post Prices
The Trump administration now requires hospitals to post their chargemasters online in an effort to increase pricing transparency in the industry. But many experts criticize the rules, saying the information is unusable to consumers. In other hospital news: children's hospitals brace for changes from the administration's tax reform law, and hospitals push physicians to go in-network.
The New York Times:
Hospitals Must Now Post Prices. But It May Take A Brain Surgeon To Decipher Them.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, responding to a new Trump administration order to begin posting all hospital prices, listed a charge of $42,569 for a cardiology procedure described as “HC PTC CLOS PAT DUCT ART.” Baptist Health in Miami helpfully told consumers that an “Embolza Protect 5.5” would cost them $9,818 while a “Visceral selective angio rad” runs a mere $5,538. On Jan. 1, hospitals began complying with a Trump administration order to post list prices for all their services, theoretically offering consumers transparency and choice and forcing health care providers into price competition. (Pear, 1/13)
Kaiser Health News:
Listen: Do Consumers Benefit When Hospitals Post Sticker Prices Online?
Julie Appleby, a Kaiser Health News senior correspondent, appeared last week on WBUR’s “Here & Now” with Jeremy Hobson and on Science Friday to discuss the new requirement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that hospitals post their list prices online. But, according to KHN’s coverage, the information popping up on hospital websites “may initially serve to confuse more than illuminate.” (1/14)
Children's Hospitals Brace For Fewer Donors Under Tax Reform
Children's hospitals could be unintended victims of changes handed down by the Trump administration's sweeping tax reform law. That's because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in December 2017, could disincentivize charitable giving by convincing millions of tax filers to go from itemizing their deductions to taking the standard deduction, thus eliminating the tax bonus for charitable donations. (Bannow, 1/12)
Hospitals Push Physicians To Go In-Network To Prevent Surprise Bills
MemorialCare executive John Cascell believes physicians are privileged to be chosen to work in the system's hospitals and clinics. They're high-quality facilities that are well-respected in California's Orange and Los Angeles counties.That's why he stands behind the Fountain Valley, Calif.-based health system's long-standing policy of requiring in-hospital physician groups to contract with the same insurance carriers as MemorialCare. The provision became part of the system's contracts several years ago in response to patient complaints about receiving surprise bills. (Bannow, 1/12)