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Hospitals – Stop Hiding Your Prices (Guest: Katy Talento)

November 22, 2021

Hospitals appear to be dragging their feet on posting their prices even though they’re required to by a federal rule.

Hospitals appear to be dragging their feet in posting their prices even though it’s required by a federal rule. The rule went into effect nearly one year ago on January 1, 2021.  Several studies have found that the majority of hospitals have been  “unambiguously non-compliant.”

The Biden administration has shown signs of getting tough. This summer, it told hospitals they could face fines up to $2,000,000 for non-compliance. Katy Talento is the executive director of alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries and a former top health advisor at the White House who led the drive for price transparency.  She discusses why enforcement of the rule is desperately needed.

Nearly one in five Americans cannot afford necessary care according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Often times, insurance doesn’t cover all of the bills.  Price transparency can have a domino effect on prices. Talento discusses how patients are willing to travel hundreds of miles now if it means saving considerable money. That seems to solve the predicament of having only one hospital in town and no information on prices. Talento also refutes some of the skepticism behind the price transparency rule, even by free market thinking economists.  Additionally, Talento talks about health care share ministries and how these non-profit organizations make full use of transparent prices to keep member costs low.


Useful links:

Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries

Medicare Program: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs; Price Transparency of Hospital Standard Charges; Radiation Oncology Model; Request for Information on Rural Emergency Hospitals

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Health Care
AnneMarie Schieber is a research fellow at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Health Care News, Heartland's monthly newspaper for health care reform. @HCPolicy