New CMS Proposal to Put Hospital Charges Online by 2019
On April 24, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a proposed rule that, in addition to many other policy revisions, is seeking to increase price transparency. If the proposal passes, the rule would require hospitals to post their pricing online. The rule states each hospital operating within the United States annually establish and make pricing public, whether that be the form of the charge master itself or in another form of their choice. The goal is to help patients understand what their potential financial liability might be for services they obtain at the hospital, and to enable patients to compare charges for similar services across hospitals. CMS is concerned, however, that charge master data may not be helpful to patients in determining what they are likely to pay for a particular service or hospital stay, and will be seeking public comment through June 25, 2018, to questions like:
1. Should “standard charges” be defined to mean average or median rates for the items in the charge master?
2. Should health care providers be required to inform patients how much their out-of-pocket costs for a service will be before those patients are provided that service?
The proposal is new enough that it’s unknown what the final requirements will look like. The full proposal can be found at the link here.
About The Author
Senior Director, CBO Division for healthcare Resource Group, Inc.
Cassie Wise's healthcare career began as an afterschool job at a rural hospital in the Inland Northwest. Fifteen plus years later she is leading one of the largest Divisions at HRG and possesses extensive experience with multiple Health Information Systems, Clearing house software, and EHRs,
Cassie's Division provides CBO services to multiple facilities nationwide including: PPS & Critical Access Hospitals, Rural Health Clinics and Indian Health facilities. She and her team provide their CBO partners with the AR tools and economic stability needed to focus on what is really important....caring for their communities.