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Association Comments on Health Plan Transparency Proposals

In a Jan. 29 letter to the departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services, America’s Essential Hospitals expressed concern about mandating the public posting of payer-specific negotiated rates and urged the departments to seek alternatives that better serve consumers.

The letter was sent in response to a joint proposal aimed at group health plans and health insurance issuers. Proposals included disclosure to beneficiaries of cost-sharing information before the delivery of items and services, as well as public disclosure of negotiated rates with in-network providers and historical out-of-network allowed amounts.

In its comments, America’s Essential Hospitals supported sharing of individualized cost information with patients before they receive covered items and services. However, the association voiced concern about mandating the public posting of payer-specific negotiated rates and urged the departments to ensure efforts to improve price transparency are limited to information that is important and useful to consumers and within the the departments’ legal authority.

The association also urged the departments to leverage existing quality data before creating new reporting requirements in the context of price transparency, and to ensure measurement and reporting have a clear tie to improving patient safety.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Maryellen Guinan is a principal policy analyst at America's Essential Hospitals.

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