On Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, the Trump administration released its final rule regarding hospital price transparency. This final rule will take effect Jan. 1, 2021, a year later than originally proposed.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had been listening to feedback on a proposed version of the rule for the past four months, culminating in this latest update.
What’s included in the final rule?
Hospitals will now be required to provide easily accessible billing information to patients. This means having all standard charges available online and in one single data file that can be “read by other computer systems,” according to a CMS press release.
The charges listed would include “the gross charges, payer-specific negotiated charges, the amount the hospital is willing to accept in cash from a patient, and the minimum and maximum negotiated charges,” according to the release.
As part of the final rule, CMS was granted more authority over enforcement. Specifically, the department has greater capability to audit hospitals and issue fines of $300 per day to those who are noncompliant.
The rule won’t be effective until January 2021. In that time, hospitals will be working to make the applicable data available online, if it isn’t already.