Hospitals and Price Transparency
May 26, 2021
by Sean Weiss, Partner & VP of Compliance
Price transparency is on my mind since some hospitals seem to have difficulty complying with the “Rule” that went into effect January 1, 2021. As a point of interest, CMS has begun issuing violation letters to hospitals that are out of compliance with the rule. Audits of hospital websites are actively taking place and some will soon be getting their second letter requiring a response along with a corrective action and possibly a civil penalty up to $300.
My question is, why should hospitals not be required to adhere to this regulation? The final rule spells out the fact that hospitals already have all of this information in their EMR and claims processing systems. I understand, there are costs with assembling and posting these required files, but it should not rise to a level that is prohibitive. Hospitals were already granted a one-year extension for this regulation in addition to the 13 months between the finalization of the ruling (November 27, 2019) and the implementation date (January 1, 2021).
If you have not seen the American Hospital Association (AHA) letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) urging them to exercise enforcement discretion, it lays out what they believe are “Gaps in Federal Guidance” and other reasons such as COVID-19 as to the difficulties for complying with the final rule.
Be sure to review the information at CMS’ Hospital Price Transparency website for information to make sure that you are in compliance!
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