Hospitals that fail to comply with federal price transparency rules would face harsher penalties under legislation proposed by U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, R-La, writes BenefitsPRO. The Hospital Price Transparency Rule requires hospitals to establish and make public a list of prices charged for items and services in a consumer-friendly manner. A recent study of 2,000 hospitals found that only 489 (24%) were fully compliant, but to date, only two hospitals have been fined for violating the laws.
In January 2022, the government implemented higher penalties on hospitals that fail to comply with the transparency rule. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services requires non-compliant hospitals with 30 or fewer beds to pay a penalty of $300 per day; those with 31 to 550 beds to pay between $310 and $5,500 per day; and those with more than 550 beds to pay $5,500 per day.
Kennedy’s bill, dubbed the Hospital Transparency Compliance Enforcement Act, would:
- Double current penalties on non-compliant hospitals to $600 per day for hospitals with 30 or fewer beds, $620 to $11,000 per day for hospitals with 31 to 550 beds; and $11,000 per day for hospitals with more than 550 beds.
- Prohibit hospitals from shielding information on their websites using webpage coding.
- Give noncompliant hospitals 60 days after notice of noncompliance to pay their monetary penalty.
- Require the CMS to publish the names of noncompliant hospitals.