Wyden Applauds CMS Action on Health Care Price Transparency

Proposed Rule Builds on Earlier Efforts to Make Prices More Available and Understandable to Consumers

Finance Chairman Calls on CMS to Increase Penalties for Noncompliant Hospitals

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today applauded action by the Biden administration to continue a bold effort to make health care provider prices more readily available to consumers, and supported the additional steps proposed.

“In today’s complex health care system, too many Americans do not know how much their health care will cost before receiving services,” Wyden said. “Unfortunately, hospitals have been found to hide the ball and have high rates of noncompliance with one or more of CMS’s price transparency requirementsI urge CMS to include higher civil monetary penalties for noncompliance in the final rule.” 

The letter, sent to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, commends the proposed OPPS and ASC Payment System rule released on August 4, 2021. In particular, Wyden supports the proposed rule’s efforts to standardize cost estimator tools so they accurately reflect the actual cost of care which is meaningful for patients and consumers shopping among providers.

Wyden has long pushed for price transparency in health care that benefits consumers. Last Congress, he supported efforts to begin requiring health care providers to post their prices. He also introduced the “Health Care Price Check Act of 2019,” which requires Medicare and insurance companies to make available an online tool and a toll free number for beneficiaries to inquire about the cost, for that specific consumer, of any service, procedure or product, including prescription drugs.

The full letter can be found here.

A web version of this release is here.