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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:
- 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.
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.