Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Feds Crack Down on Hospital Pricing

 The Biden Administration is cracking down on hospitals who refuse to publish their prices online in intelligible formats. The Wall Street Journal reported today: 

the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency responsible for enforcing rules requiring hospitals publish their prices, is seeking to raise penalties as high as $2 million a year for large hospitals that fail to make prices public. Large hospitals are those with more than 30 beds.

The proposed penalty is a sharp increase from the $109,500 maximum a year per hospital under existing rules. For hospitals with 30 or fewer beds, penalties remain the same.

The proposed provision comes after many hospitals failed to publish their prices as required by federal rules that took effect this year, undercutting policy makers’ goal of boosting competition and choice through transparent pricing.

As of Monday, data from price-transparency startup Turquoise Health Co. shows no usable pricing data from 32% of 4,885 acute care, children’s or rural primary-care hospitals.

The company’s database includes another 10% of these hospitals with prices that fall short of requirements....

 The proposed rules said hospitals used various methods, including so-called blocking codes, to make it harder for people to search for and download pricing data. The proposal would require hospitals to ensure that prices can be accessed by automated searches and that files can be directly downloaded. Rest of article.

The Trump administration forced hospitals to publish the prices they charge insured and  non-insured patients at the beginning of this year.   Hospitals were understandably not too happy about the new rule.  The new rule also applied to drug costs but Big Pharma is fighting the federal government in court. 

Most Jackson area hospitals complied with the new policy.  They used portals that allowed patients to customize their searches.  However, St. Dominic merely posted an Excel spreadsheet that had over 12,000 entries.  Happy digging.  Earlier post.

Expect the hospitals to furiously fight the proposed enhancements. 


Anonymous said...

I saw St. Dominic's spreadsheet. That IT department or leadership deserves an ass-chewing. I'm hoping they do medical procedures much more competently than they do pricing disclosures.

And what do you want to bet that the head of the IT department at St. Dominic makes big bucks.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if prices are set in concrete? Problems occur and I'm sure those can't be listed as associated with the originally priced procedure(s). I like St. D's approach, flood them with paperwork. Should be of no surprise to the Feds as we did that all the time when forced to submit documents.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter. Soon hospitals will be firing un vaxxed employees .......and all of those people will be on welfare to survive. This will happen all over the country and there will be nothing but "students" caring for our loved ones. Another day...another stupid decision made by libby's.

Anonymous said...

100k a year penalty? Joke !!!!

Thanks to Joe for putting real pain in the penalty!

Maybe now the people can be represented!

Joe is awesome

Anonymous said...

the medical gravy train is hard to stop.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Well It would be nice to see our Government help the U. S. to have meaningful lower health care insurance costs rather than continue the food stamp giveaways, LIHEAP assistance for energy bills, free money free money free money. This is why people cant retire at retirement age. Subsidize crops? Subsidize my health insurance.

Anonymous said...

"Joe is awesome". Yes, Stalin was awesome.

Anonymous said...

Shame on all those "non-profit" hospitals!

Anonymous said...

I can guarantee that St. D's decision to post a large spreadsheet was made by someone much higher on the food chain than the IT Department head.

Anonymous said...

This will backfire like every thing else Dementia Joe and his freak show have done. The hospitals will use this as an excuse to provide less services and make even more money. Just watch.

Wow said...

I am interested to hear more from 11:05am about how Joe Biden is comparable to Stalin.

Anonymous said...

"I am interested to hear more from 11:05am about how Joe Biden is comparable to Stalin. "

"JOSEPH" Stalin and JOSEPH Biden...c'mon, man, just a coincidence? Before you answer: DONALD Duck and DONALD Trump.

Of course, maybe the Hitler comparisons get caught in the Godwin's Law filter or something.

Anonymous said...

@12:01 I guess you didn't comprehend the post. Trump administration forced the hospitals to disclose their pricing. Find another argument. Or blame Trump. I'm so sick of people showing their stupidity and making everything political. It's not. You make it, that why it is. Just stop! And learn to read before you comment. Hospitals should charge all of us the same.

Anonymous said...

Last time I was at UMMC they couldn't even do second grade simple addition to total a bill. For 14 months in a row, and they never got it right. Small wonder they can't do pricing numbers either.

Also, when is big brother gonna crack down on insurance companies practicing medicine and deciding what procedure they will pay for instead of paying for the procedure that the actual doc prescribes and that the insurance is supposed to cover? If they put just a few of those insurance company execs in actual prison, the health care crisis will get a LOT better.

Anonymous said...


Although he should be, Trump is not the president now. The current (Dementia Joe and his band of freaks) administration is getting the credit/blame for implementing this thus IT IS POLITICAL whether you want it to be or not. Hospitals should do A LOT of things Fairly but they don't always do them...now get back to your CNN programing before you miss some talking points. You're clearly in over your head here.

Anonymous said...

@3:46 they do charge the same. It's what they accept for contracted rates between insurance carriers that is different. That is why the charges are so high in order to make sure they don't miss revenue from an insurance payor. The many crooked insurance companies pay different rates to providers/hospitals for the same procedures. If you charge $100 but they would've paid up to $150, then the hospital lost that $50.

Insurance and all of them make it to0 damn difficult.

Anonymous said...

I grew up with St.D on many levels.

The hatred between St.D and "The Baptist" was always worse than any SEC Football rivalry.

But when I had to deal with both hospitals, The Baptist is D-1 NCAA.

St.D used to be very good,but they are now more like a JUCO team.

Anonymous said...

You a bitch ass nigga, Jamie. I'm sure your hospital bill would be through the roof if you tried to cure your bitchassness. You smell too. You smell like an unwashed forskin.

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