While it’s too early to outline specific strategies brokers and consultants plan to deploy for helping their clients navigate the new transparency rules, this much is clear: The process must be simplified.

As new hospital price transparency rules go into effect beginning this year — requiring hospitals, employers, and health care coverage providers to supply detailed pricing information — uncertainty abounds. Will hospitals comply with the regulation right away? What happens if they don’t? And what steps do employers need to take now in order to prepare for the implementation of new rules for them in 2022 and 2023?

“Everybody has been busy with other things,” says Jennifer Berman, chief executive officer of benefits compliance firm MZQ Consulting, referring to the myriad of challenges COVID-19 created for hospitals in 2020. “So it’s hard to imagine anybody going after the hospitals right away because they haven’t posted their prices online.”

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