President Trump has issued an executive order instructing federal agencies to take a number of steps to promote price transparency and high-quality care, including a requirement that hospitals post standard charge information.
Near-term actions from the executive order include:
- Within two months, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should issue a proposed regulation requiring hospitals to “publicly post standard charge information, including charges and information based on negotiated rates and for common or shoppable items and services, in an easy-to-understand, consumer-friendly, and machine-readable format.” In addition, the order calls for the administration to establish a monitoring mechanism to ensure compliance.
- Within three months the administration will issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking soliciting feedback on a proposal to require providers, insurers and self-insured group health plans to “provide or facilitate access to information about expected out-of-pocket costs for items and services to patients before they receive care.”
These polices build on administration policy adopted through previous rulemaking. CHA anticipates these proposals could be incorporated and proposed as part of the calendar year (CY) 2020 outpatient prospective payment system proposed rule, which is expected in early to mid-July.
The executive order also directs federal agencies to take a number of additional steps within six months, including:
- HHS should submit a report on additional steps the administration may take to implement the President’s principles on surprise medical billing.
- HHS and the Federal Trade Commission should issue a report “describing the manners in which the Federal Government or the private sector are impeding healthcare price and quality transparency for patients, and providing recommendations for eliminating these impediments in a way that promotes competition.”
- HHS and the Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense should create a roadmap to align quality metrics across federal health care programs.
- HHS, in consultation with other federal agencies, should “increase access to de-identified claims data from taxpayer-funded healthcare programs and group health plans for researchers, innovators, providers, and entrepreneurs, in a manner that is consistent with applicable law and that ensures patient privacy and security.”