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Executive Order Highlights Increased Health Care Price Transparency

executive order

2 minute read

President Trump signed an executive order earlier this week designed to increase pricing and quality transparency in health care. It directs several federal agencies to write guidance and regulations to help patients receive more info about health care costs before they get it. Here are some highlights of the order:

 

Pricing Transparency

  • Regulations will be proposed to:
    • Require hospitals to publicly post their pricing info using easy to understand language and include charges and information based on insurance-negotiated prices and shoppable services/items.
    • Treat medical expenses that relation to certain types of health arrangements as eligible medical expenses under section 213(d) of title 26, United States Code. The order could include expenses related to direct primary care or health care sharing ministries.
  • An advanced notice of proposed rulemaking would require insurers, providers, and self-insured health plans to provide patients information about expected out-of-pocket costs for medical items or services before they receive care.
  • A report will be created that describes how the government or private sector is hindering transparency in health care quality and pricing for consumers.

 

Medical Spending Accounts

  • Guidance will be issued:
    • To expand consumers’ ability to choose high deductible health plans with health savings accounts.
    • About increasing flexible spending account funds that can carry over without penalty at the end of the year.

 

Quality of Care Transparency

  • A roadmap will be developed to help align and improve data and quality reporting measures across programs such as Marketplace, Medicaid, and Medicare.
  • Access to de-identified claims data from taxpayer-funded health care programs and group health plans will increase. This will help to create tools to empower patients to make more informed health care decisions.

 

5 Point Benefit Assessment

 

Surprise Medical Billing

  • A report shall be submitted detailing any additional steps that are necessary to implement the surprise medical billing principals that were laid out on May 9 to the president.

 

Next Steps

Note that this executive order doesn’t set forth any proposed regulations itself. Download the bulletin for more details. Also stay tuned to our blog for the latest information.

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Bill Enright

Bill Enright

Bill Enright, Director of Consulting Services for National Insurance Services, Inc. (NIS), coordinates and works with NIS’ Market Development Teams to enhance our full-service employee benefits capabilities. Bill’s expertise enables the NIS team to deliver customized, innovative employee benefits plans for schools, cities, towns, and counties. Bill is a 27+ year industry veteran with employee benefits expertise from insurance carrier to benefits consultant to Director of Consulting Services for NIS. He believes in bottom-line honesty while empowering NIS Consultants and customers with the knowledge they need to feel confident in their decisions. He has been published on the topic of healthcare reform and has served on advisory committees and insurance reform lobbying groups at the state and national level.