Donald Trump wants hospitals to be more upfront about prices

“I DON’T KNOW if the hospitals are going to like me too much any more with this,” quipped President Donald Trump on November 15th. He was referring to two bold initiatives unveiled earlier that day by Alex Azar, his health secretary, to rein in America’s soaring health-care costs. The administration finalised a rule, to take effect in 2021, which will double down on its effort to bring price transparency to hospital care. And it put forward a new proposal, open for 60 days of public comment, that would force health-insurance firms to reveal confidential details of negotiated discounts with hospitals and doctors. It is the biggest shake-up of America’s $3.5trn health-care industry in years. And no, hospital operators are not happy.

Mr Trump’s first round of hospital reform required hospitals to make public the full list of costs billable to patients or their insurers. Hospitals previously held these so-called “chargemasters” close to their chest. Since January, when the reform came into force, they have taken to releasing convoluted spreadsheets with theoretical list prices for thousands of procedures, all couched in impenetrable medical jargon—transparent in theory but “useless” in practice, says George Nation of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.

In need of radical surgery

The new rule goes further...



via Business Feeds

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