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Research Finds Low Compliance From Big Hospitals on CMS’s Hospital Price Transparency Rule

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In a Health Affairs blog post, the early hospital compliance with the new CMS price transparency rule is assessed and the authors discuss the implication of their results for the future of health care pricing transparency.

To assess compliance, the authors collected the price transparency files for the largest 100 hospitals in the US (by certified bed count) from late January 2021 to early February 2021 and sought to determine the extent to which these hospitals were complying with the regulation.

Their findings however were not encouraging: Of the 100 hospitals in their sample, 65 were unambiguously noncompliant. Of these 65, 18 percent did not post any files or provided links to searchable databases that were not downloadable. 82 percent either did not include the payer-specific negotiated rates with the name of payer and plan clearly associated with the charges or were in some other way noncompliant.

The authors conclude in their belief that compliance with this regulation is a necessary step for adding much needed price transparency into health care markets and urge CMS to actively monitor compliance and to use their considerable leverage to incentivize hospitals to comply.

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