A response to the FY19 IPPS Proposed Rule (CMS-1694-P) for Requirements for Hospitals to Make Public a List of Their Standard Charges via the Internet
The FY19 IPPS Proposed Rule contains a section for requirements for hospitals to make public a list of their standard charges via the internet. This section of the proposed rule revisits a reminder contained in the FY15 IPPS Proposed Rule and ultimately the initial calls for transparency in the Affordable Care Act (specifically, 2718(e) of the Public Health Service Act). That language required hospitals to “either make public a list of their standard charges (whether that be the chargemaster itself or in another form of their choice) or their policies for allowing the public to view a list of those charges in response to an inquiry.”
It is no surprise that the CMS is attempting to continue this national dialogue as many providers still struggle with how to effectively improve price transparency. In fact, our firm has conducted national provider surveys on how hospitals are approaching price transparency and the areas that tend to receive the most price inquiries from patients. The results of those surveys have been transferred into HFMA-related publications. What we’ve found is that the vast majority of hospitals are complying with the ACA transparency language by providing a means for patients to request pricing information – but not – through public display of pricing information via a website or some other form.
As a result, the FY19 IPPS Proposed Rule indicates that as of January 1, 2019 guidelines will be updated to require hospitals to make prices available via the internet. In addition, the proposed rule requests input on several price transparency definitions, methods, and measures. The purpose of this paper is to provide hospitals with language that can be used to respond to the CMS. We have submitted this as an official comment, however, we believe multiple voices should be heard so we are providing our thoughts as a resource.
Click here to view our full response and learn how you can comment on the proposed rule as well.