Action Alert: Sunshine on Secret Prices

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The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed solutions that implement President Trump’s Executive Order to encourage hospital price transparency. While more fundamental reforms are needed for lasting change, it is past time to shine some sunlight on the secret prices that hospitals and health plans try to keep hidden from patients.

Since the health system swamp will be pulling out all the stops to kill President Trump’s proposal, your help is needed to help speak out in support of letting patients see the prices that will better enable them to make decisions about where they will get the best value for their dollar.

Here’s how you can help:

1) Copy the below template comments.

(Comments are due by 5:00pm Eastern on September 27, 2019.)


Secretary Azar and Administrator Verma,

Prices of medical care are too often unknown until the patient receives the bill after the fact. I am writing today to thank and support CMS for its proposal, outlined in Section XVI of CMS-1717-P, that would empower patients to know the true prices of needed care.

Access to honest and actual prices is fundamental to ensuring patient choice and ultimately reducing medical care costs. Currently, Americans are unable to make fully informed decisions and choose the care options that are best for them and their families. That is why I ask CMS to implement the proposal requiring hospitals to publicly disclose, online, payer-specific negotiated charges for items and services. Please do not weaken the proposal to benefit special interests at the expense of patients.

Likewise, CMS should finalize, as proposed in Section X.C., the phase-in of site-neutral payment policies that work towards ending price discrimination. Patients should not be penalized and pay higher prices simply because a hospital owns the medical practice where they receive care.

Thank you for proposing changes like these that put patients first.

Sincerely,


2) After copying the above comments, visit the comment portal and paste them in to the submission box. You can then modify the comments as desired before submitting them.

The comment portal is available at: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=CMS-2019-0109-0002

Remember, comments are due by 5:00pm Eastern on September 27, 2019.