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Statement on CMS Hospital Pricing Data Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2013

Statement attributable to:
Beth Feldpush
Senior Vice President for Policy and Advocacy
National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems

WASHINGTON – “NAPH strongly supports transparency. But we’re concerned that the data released today lacks the proper context consumers need to make informed decisions about their care.”

“Often, there is little relationship between a hospital’s charge for a service and what it ultimately receives for patient care. Safety net hospitals, for example, offer some of most generous charity care and discount policies of all hospitals nationally. Our members often are among the most affordable, with operating margins of 2.3 percent compared with 7.2 percent for all hospitals nationwide.”

“Medicare and Medicaid pay administratively set rates often below a hospital’s true costs. Private insurers, likewise, pay negotiated rates that can vary greatly from charges. But hospitals are required by law to maintain uniform charges for all patients, regardless of economic or insurance status, meaning that all bills must reflect the same charge for the same service.”

“We appreciate the government’s attempt to promote transparency in pricing, but we caution against providing data without context.”

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About the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH)
NAPH represents the nation’s safety net hospitals and health systems, which provide high volumes of care to low-income individuals. These facilities offer high-quality health services for all patients, including the uninsured and underinsured, regardless of ability to pay. In addition to helping ensure access to health care for all Americans, safety net hospitals provide many essential communitywide services, such as primary care, trauma care, and neonatal intensive care. Safety net hospitals also train many of America’s doctors, nurses, and other health care providers. Since its inception in 1980, NAPH has cultivated a strong presence on Capitol Hill, with the executive branch, and in many state capitols. NAPH advocates on behalf of its members on such issues as Medicaid, Medicare, and access to health care services for vulnerable populations. For more information, visit our website at http://www.naph.org/.

Media Contact:
Carl Graziano
202.585.0102

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