In a move to empower patients and lower healthcare costs, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., joined Senator Mike Braun, R-Ind., in introducing the PRICE Transparency Act.
The legislation would codify the two health care price transparency rules that came out of President Donald Trump’s Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare Executive Order—–which requires hospitals and insurers to reveal their low, discounted cash prices and negotiated rates to consumers before they receive medical care.
“Americans often leave their health care visits frustrated not knowing what price to expect on the bill,” Enzi said. “But for many procedures, if you can know the cost beforehand, you can choose the hospital that fits your needs. The Administration issued these no-nonsense health care price transparency rules. I am glad that our legislation would help cement them so patients can stay informed about the real cost of their treatment before they receive the care they need.”
Last November, the Trump Administration issued two separate regulations requiring price transparency for hospitals and health insurance companies. The hospital regulation, scheduled to take effect in January 2021, was challenged in court by the hospital lobbies that sued to keep their prices and negotiated rates secret. The hospital lobbies lost this legal battle—with a federal judge upholding the legality of the hospital transparency rule intended to expose private, negotiated rates with insurers—and noting in the opinion that the rule would “allow patients to make pricing comparisons between hospitals.”
Other original cosponsors of the legislation include Senator Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Senator John Kennedy, R-La., and Senator Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga.