Hospitals and health systems are committed to empowering patients with all the information they need to live their healthiest lives. This includes ensuring they have access to accurate information on their costs estimates when seeking care.

Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published data showing hospitals and health systems are making significant progress complying with the federal price transparency regulations.

CMS found that in 2022, 70% of hospitals had complied with both the consumer-friendly display of shoppable services information and the machine-readable file requirements of the regulations, up from 27% in 2021. This is a more than two-fold increase in compliance in one year. More specifically, CMS said that 82% of hospitals met the consumer-friendly display of shoppable services information requirement in 2022 (up from 66% in 2021), and 82% met the machine-readable file requirement (up from 30% in 2021).

This update from CMS, which is the official arbiter of hospitals’ compliance with the price transparency regulation, comes at a critical time. There has been so much misinformation being put out by third-party groups – some of which have only a tenuous grasp of the rule’s policy and technical requirements.

The AHA has been pushing back hard on these flawed analyses by sharing with the public, policymakers and the media the many ways hospitals and health systems are working to comply with the regulations as they provide patients with clear, accurate cost estimates when they are preparing for hospital care. These include:

  • Blogs with accurate information. The AHA has shared numerous blogs, including one published yesterday in Fierce Healthcare that goes into more details about our efforts to combat misinformation, with updates on how the field has been making extensive investments of personnel and finances to implement these regulations. It’s important to note that these requirements went into effect on Jan. 1, 2021, which was during the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the same workforce that was developing systems and processes to implement these regulations was also responding to COVID-19 surges and setting up vaccine sites to protect patients and families.
  • Communications to Capitol Hill. We have been working to make sure lawmakers understand the real story on this issue. Just this week, we sent a letter to leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee providing an update on the field’s efforts and reinforcing hospitals’ commitment to deliver reliable and useable pricing information to patients.
  • Working with the media. We have been working with reporters and news outlets to make sure they have the facts and access to accurate information. For example, we spoke with NBC News and provided them insight into hospitals’ efforts to help shape the report they did last month on this topic.

All of these efforts and more will continue as we make sure policymakers and the public get the full picture on this pivotal issue.

While there’s no doubt that the hospital field has made significant progress, we know that more must be done. Hospitals and health systems remain committed to working with CMS to implement these policies and deliver reliable and useable pricing information to patients. And we’ll continue to do it from a place of accuracy and clarity – not a place of misinformation and disinformation.

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