As promised, the federal government began levying fines against hospital systems this month for failure to comply with new laws requiring them to publicly release their internal dates on the rates they charge for medical procedures.

But with inflation racing at levels unseen for decades, hospital executives are already claiming their data is out of date. Their costs for everything from new equipment to cafeteria fare are increasing.

Does this mean insurers and plan sponsors that have been awaiting this flood of data will find it essentially obsolete? Will the notoriously close relationship between  insurers and providers be strained as insurers struggle to set reimbursement rates?

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.