06.28.2021 / Reporters Note
Reporters Note – Need for Price Transparency to Protect Families, Workers and Employers Underscored with Consumers First’s IPPS Comment Letter
June 28, 2021
MEDIA AVAILABILITY – To speak with Sophia Tripoli, Director of Health Care Innovations, about the IPPS comment letter or Consumers First administrative policy priorities, contact Lisa Holland, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-695-5160 (cell).
Need for Price Transparency to Protect Families, Workers and Employers Underscored with Consumers First’s IPPS Comment Letter
To urge against the repeal of critical price transparency regulation, Consumers First is submitting a detailed letter today to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on its annual updates to inpatient hospital payment through the hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System proposed rule. Twenty-six organizations representing consumers, children, workers, employers, and primary care co-signed the letter.
Consumers First — a coalition working to fight back against the broken health care system — is concerned that the IPPS rule proposes to repeal a critical price transparency regulation that was finalized under the previous administration and would have required hospitals to disclose the median payer-specific negotiated rate, a key underlying health care price, negotiated between hospitals and Medicare Advantage plans.
Repealing this policy would greatly undermine efforts to implement existing regulations that — for the first time — require hospitals and health plans to disclose health care prices, further emboldening hospitals who are currently not complying with those regulations to continue to increase health care prices with impunity on the backs of families, workers, and employers. Failure to fully enforce and implement hospital price transparency regulations would be a significant setback to efforts Consumers First has made to increase price transparency and lower health care costs.
“This comment letter underscores how critical it is for the Biden administration not to regress on any efforts that require hospitals or health plans to disclose pricing information,” said Sophia Tripoli, Director of Health Care Innovations. “As they are working to increase hospital compliance with new hospital price transparency regulations, Consumers First feels this is an ideal time for them to double down on price transparency efforts by increasing the penalty for those hospitals that fail to comply with existing regulations. This represents a vital step toward truly making the health care system more equitable and accessible for all.”
In addition to the comment letter, Consumers First provided detailed comments on a “Request for Information” included in the proposed rule, which focused on Closing the Equity Gap in CMS Hospital Quality Programs. The coalition also supports the Administration’s efforts to hold the health care system accountable for reducing disparities and advancing racial justice. “Addressing price transparency as well as improving health outcomes for BIPOC and other underserved communities will help to reduce longstanding health disparities and advance health equity across health care payment and delivery reform efforts,” Tripoli said.