Hospital group supports price transparency

The American Hospital Association has helped introduce a bill in Congress that would promote price transparency in healthcare delivery.

The Health Care Price Transparency Promotion Act would require states to establish laws to disclose standard charges for certain inpatient and outpatient services, and also require health plans to provide enrollees estimated out-of-pocket costs for specific healthcare services, reported AHA News Now.

The bill has bipartisan support, having been introduced by Rep. Michael Burgess, a Texas Republican and physician, and Gene Green, a Texas Democrat, according to the news brief.

The bill also would require the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to determine what price data consumers would find useful, and how it may be effectively distributed.

"A patient should be able to know what they are buying and how much they will pay out-of-pocket," Burgess said Friday in a statement. "Arming patients with cost information is an important step in improving our country's health care system with the focus on the patient."

Price transparency is beginning to tug at the payer community, with UnitedHealth recently introducing an application to help enrollees to better determine their costs, reported Medcity News.

For more information:
- read the AHA News Now  brief
- read the MedCity News article
- here's Rep. Burgess' statement

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