CMS Sends Out Price Transparency Warnings
Since the passage of the ACA, Price Transparency has largely been a bipartisan issue, meaning that new rules and regulations have appeared, regardless of administration. CMS’ goal is to make it easier for patients to compare prices between hospitals. However, their final rule, which went into effect January 1st, had not yet been followed up by enforcement. CMS’ website claimed they were running audits and reviews of hospital websites, and the industry waited to see if they would start cracking down.
And they have. Well… gently. Last month, CMS began sending its first warning letters out to hospitals that were not compliant with their Price Transparency rules.
This is in line with their planned escalation. Each hospital will have 90 days to address the letter and CMS will then re-review. After that, the hospital will either be found compliant or receive a second letter from CMS, possibly with a plan to address how they can become compliant. CMS may choose to fine the facility up to $300 a day and make their non-compliance public on a CMS website.
Although some hospitals may plan to take the monetary hit rather than comply, the negative publicity may be concerning. CMS has said this plan is a last resort, and they plan to be careful not to publicize hospitals that are taking corrective action but have not yet achieved full compliance.
This first step sends a loud and clear message to the hospital finance community that CMS is serious and intent on taking action. Now is a good time to reevaluate your price transparency and make sure it is compliant and patient-friendly. Want to learn more about the history of Price Transparency, what hospitals are doing to become and stay compliant, what you can do now that CMS is cracking down, and how we can help? Sign up for our free Spring Summit!