Reps. Flores, Westerman, Gallagher, Hartzler, Gohmert, and Palmer Introduce Legislation to Empower Consumers to Know the True Cost of Their Health Care Services

On Monday, Representatives Bill Flores (R-TX), Bruce Westerman (R-AR), Mike Gallagher (R-WI), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Gary Palmer (R-AL) introduced H.R. 7676, the “Health Care PRICE Transparency Act.”  This legislation will give patients and families a clearer picture of the costs of procedures at hospitals, allowing them to make better health care choices.

“Health care is almost the only sector where there is no price transparency for consumers.  We need to modernize this weakness to match the rest of our 21st-century economy,” said Rep. Flores.  “While some hospitals assert that price lists can be confusing for patients, I believe that making this information accessible is a big step in the right direction. Health care price transparency will allow patients to have better information and it will help facilitate lower health care costs.”

“Every American has the right to know the full cost before they receive medical care,” said Rep. Westerman.  “Unfortunately, hospitals and insurers don’t always disclose lower available rates to patients. The PRICE Transparency Act will require hospitals and insurers to be up-front about costs, allowing patients to choose the option that works best for them. It’s a commonsense bill, which is why I’ve also included it in the Fair Care Act. I look forward to moving it through the legislative process.”

“Our health care system is mind-numbingly complex, which only serves to disadvantage patients and keep them in the dark about what they’re actually paying for,” said Rep. Gallagher.  “The Trump Administration has taken strong action to promote transparency in health care, and it’s time for Congress to codify these actions into law. I’m proud to join Rep. Flores in this common-sense effort to help empower patients and put them back in control of their health care expenses.”

“Lack of price transparency has created a health care system largely insulated from market forces,” said Rep. Palmer.  “This bill will increase competition and give consumers the information they need to shop for services, resulting in higher quality and reduced cost.“

The Trump Administration last year published regulations to increase price transparency, empower patients, and drive competition among hospitals and insurers.  This legislation, which is identical to legislation introduced in the Senate, would codify those regulations to ensure that they cannot be changed by future administrations.

The Health Care PRICE Transparency Act will:

  • Codify the Trump Administration’s Health Care Price Transparency Rule;
  • Make public all hospital prices, including list prices, prices for insured patients, and the amount the hospital will accept in cash from a patient;
  • Ensure the information provided to customers is in a usable, consumer-friendly, and up-to-date format; and
  • Make sure this information is published online and available to all beneficiaries.

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