18 November, 2019

Executive Order for Healthcare Transparency

Earlier this year President Trump signed an executive order that will require price transparency from healthcare providers. The order is called “Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to put Patients First.”

The Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) has just announced that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will be taking measures to finalize specific rules in order to implement price transparency in all hospitals, group health plans and health insurance issuers. These rules will include mandating that hospitals make public standard charges for a minimum of 300 standard services in a “consumer friendly” manner. They must also make this list of charges available on their websites. The CMS rules will also institute a monitoring system for noncompliance which will result in a monetary penalty.

The idea behind the executive order, which is to go into effect January 1, 2021, is that by allowing patients to see costs up front, they will be empowered as consumers by having the option to shop around for their healthcare. The executive order would also create more competition in the healthcare marketplace which would theoretically cause costs for services to go down.

Too often, patients who receive services from hospitals are faced with sticker-shock when they receive hefty, surprising and often multiple bills.  Alex Azar, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) explained that the new rule will require hospitals to disclose prices that patients actually pay in “an easy-to-read, patient-friendly format.” The executive order will also require healthcare providers and insurers to provide patients with information about their out-of-pocket costs before they receive services.

Regardless of this, imaging services provided in a hospital or hospital-owned outpatient center can still cost up to 3 to 5 times higher than the same services provided in a freestanding imaging center.

RadNet has always been a proponent of patient empowerment. We believe that patients who make informed decisions about their health live healthier lives. Our collaborative approach to healthcare means that our patients, radiologists and support staff are all a part of the same team. We provide transparency with costs and we make it easy for you to find results and answers about your health.

When it comes to imaging, you do have a choice.

18 November, 2019


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