New federal law makes hospital prices public




On a regular basis, many people leave the hospital wondering exactly how much the service they just received will cost them. This will soon be changed thanks to a new law about to come into effect.
Beginning Jan. 1, a new federal law will go into effect that makes it mandatory for hospitals to be transparent about all pricing. Every hospital nationwide will be required to post charges online for every service and every item they provide.
The new rule is part of a Medicare program called Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) in the healthcare system. Hospitals are already required to have pricing information readily available, however this new law requires it be posted online and be updated at least annually.
The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS) began the project in early 2018 and this final rule, along with others passed in 2018, will help improve access to hospital price information, give patients greater access to their health information and allow physicians to spend more time with their patients.
Although the pricing will soon be available online, it won’t inform patients what cost will be covered by their insurance or other programs, but should give them a better idea of what their final bill will look like.


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