Trump Administration Announces Five Pillar Approach to Make Health Care Costs More Transparent

Today, the Trump Administration announced an executive order which aims for greater price transparency in health care. The core of the proposal is to lower rising health care costs by showing prices to patients.

“The President knows the best way to lower costs in health care is to put patients in control by increasing choice and competition,” Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar explained on a call promoting the new executive order.
 
There are five main pillars to the executive order, and two of them are directly related to transparency of health care prices. The pillars are:

  • Direct HHS to draft a new rule that would require hospitals to disclose prices that patients and insurers actually pay in an easy-to-read, patient-friendly format.
  • Require health care providers and insurers to provide patients with information about the out-of-pocket costs they’ll face before receiving health care services.
  • Direct health care agencies to simplify the system of measuring and publicly reporting the quality of health care provided by hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers.
  • Store health care claims data so researchers and others can analyze and make improvements to health care system.
  • Direct the Treasury Department with expanding uses for health savings accounts.

Although NRHA supports price transparency for patients, we will continue to fight against any additional burden placed on rural hospitals and providers. With the 107th rural hospital closure since 2010 happening recently, this isn’t a time to increase burden for struggling health care providers in rural America.