In late June, a federal court ruled in favor of upholding the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) final rule issued last November that would require hospitals to publicly disclose “standard charges” for items and services they provide, in addition to the negotiated prices of up to 300 “shoppable” medical services. The final rule is set to take effect in 2021.
This rule was challenged by the American Hospital Association (AHA), which has sought to rescind the rule before it took full effect. The judge disagreed with the AHA’s argument of First Amendment protections for medical prices, as well as against the argument that revealing such prices would have a chilling effect on negotiations between payers and providers. The judge stated that the final rule was reasonably related to the government’s interest in lowering healthcare costs and giving consumers more pricing data to help them decide on medical treatments. The AHA is expected to file an appeal and ask for an expedited ruling.
The full ruling can be found here.