December 11, 2023

Bill seeks to improve cost transparency, provide relief to patients

Editor's Note

The US House of Representatives may vote this week on The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act. Introduced September 8, the proposed act aims to boost healthcare pricing transparency so consumers can make more informed decisions. Key elements include:

  • Hospitals, payers, ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs), and other facilities would be required to publicly list the prices they charge patients.
  • Hospitals and hospital-owned ASCs would be required to publish standard charges for both payer-specific and cash-paying patients for at least 300 items and services. 
  • Payers and pharmacy benefit managers would also have to disclose negotiated drug rebates and discounts, providing consumers with the true cost of prescription drugs. 
  • The bill would cut $8 billion per year in disproportionate hospital cuts and $7 billion in funding for the Medicaid Improvement Fund. 
  • It would also lower out-of-pocket costs for seniors receiving medication from a hospital-owned facility or doctor’s office, and expand access to generic drugs.

In addition, the bill would help expand health coverage in rural and underserved areas of the country by providing additional funding ($4.4 billion per year) to community health centers, along with training programs for new physicians in those communities. 

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