News: CMS asks consumers to “checkup” on hospitals’ posted price lists

CDI Strategies - Volume 13, Issue 11

Though CMS required hospitals to publish their list of retail charges for individual services and DRGs in online spreadsheets starting January 1 as part of the fiscal year 2019 inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) final rule, things are still progressing slowly.

In fact, it’s not clear how many hospitals are even complying with the ruling as the government isn’t yet enforcing the rule and industry groups aren’t monitoring compliance. This has led CMS to take the rare step of asking consumers to monitor hospital compliance, HealthLeaders Media reported.

CMS Administrator Seema Verma has encouraged the public to monitor their hospitals’ compliance through her in-person appearances, opinion pieces, and social media. Then, Verma said, that consumers should notify CMS of any noncompliance they find. Hundreds of responses have come in already through the CMS-initiated Twitter hashtag, #Wherestheprice.

Though there have been many responses to the Twitter campaign, many of the tweets claiming noncompliance appear to be because consumers didn’t fully investigate the hospital’s website, according to Kaiser Health News.

In addition to identifying noncompliance, CMS also invited hospitals, healthcare stakeholders, and the public to weigh in on possible enforcement mechanisms and suggest future price transparency measures, according to HealthLeaders Media.

A CMS spokesperson told Kaiser Health News that CMS expects to issue its next price transparency regulation this year.

Editor’s note: To read HealthLeaders Media’s coverage of this story, click here. To read Kaiser Health News’ coverage, click here. To see the tweets in the #Wherestheprice campaign, click here. To read about the early hiccups with price transparency, click here.

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