The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS’s) new rule on hospital price transparency finally went into effect on January 1, 2021. This was after a year-long delay to accommodate concerns about the burden of implementation, health care industry criticism, and an American Hospital Association (AHA) lawsuit.

The rule requires hospitals to disclose the standard charges for all items and services provided, and charges for the hospital’s 300 most shoppable services, including payer-specific negotiated charges, in a consumer-friendly format.

The theory underpinning this new rule is that the release of price information will stimulate market forces and, thus, work to lower rising health care costs. The Trump administration argued that arming consumers with price information would enable them to shop around for care, choose less expensive options and ultimately bend the cost of care.

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