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(AUSTIN, Texas – Aug. 1, 2019) – Texas Hospital Association Statement on Proposed Rule to Require Disclosure of Hospital and Health Insurer Negotiated Payments AUSTIN, Texas – The following is a statement from Ted Shaw, Texas Hospital Association president/CEO, on the proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to require disclosure of negotiated payment amounts between health insurance companies and hospitals:
“The proposed federal government rule to require hospitals to disclose how much they charge individual health plans for services will not reduce health care costs or meaningfully engage patients in making better health care choices.
The rule will benefit health insurance companies, not patients. A race to the bottom on negotiated rates will follow with increased cost sharing passed on to patients through higher premiums.
The rule also has the potential to confuse and mislead patients. A single insurance plan can offer a variety of products that vary by employer or sponsor. There is no such thing as a monolithic or uniform Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, for example. Employers negotiate with plans on specific benefits and cost-sharing requirements for covered individuals. Given the permutations of health plan arrangements with different terms and requirements, disclosing negotiated prices by specific payer is not useful or even feasible.
Hospitals already work with individual patients seeking elective and scheduled procedures to provide specific price and cost-sharing estimates before care is delivered and encourage them to work with their health insurance company to get meaningful information about network status of providers, where they are in meeting their deductible for the year and other cost-sharing obligations.
The proposed rule represents government overreach into the private market and will not help patients.”
Founded in 1930, the Texas Hospital Association is the leadership organization and principal advocate for the state’s hospitals and health care systems. Based in Austin, THA enhances its members’ abilities to improve accessibility, quality and cost-effectiveness of health care for all Texans. One of the largest hospital associations in the country, THA represents 452 of the state’s non-federal general and specialty hospitals and health care systems, which employ some 400,000 health care professionals statewide. Learn more about THA at www.tha.org or follow THA on Twitter at http://twitter.com/texashospitals.