Trump releases rule forcing hospitals and insurers to disclose negotiated rates or face fines

Health, Fitness & Food

President Donald Trump makes a statement at the White House following reports that U.S. forces attacked Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in northern Syria, in Washington, October 27, 2019.

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

The Trump administration released a plan Friday that will force hospitals and insurers to disclose their negotiate rates or risk being fined.

The administration has already required hospitals to publish list prices, sometimes referred to as “sticker prices.” That doesn’t always reflect what someone might pay with insurance. The rule, expected to be enacted in 2021, would go further by requiring hospitals to also post the prices various insurance plans pay.

President Donald Trump’s rule begins a “new era” in price transparency in health care, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told reporters on a conference call Friday.

Hospitals could be fined up to $300 a day if they don’t comply with the Trump administration’s negotiated rate rule, administration officials said Friday.

Shares of hospital stocks were slightly lower following the announcement. Health insurance stocks were flat on the news.

Trump is expected to discuss his transparency rules for hospitals and insurers Friday afternoon in a Roosevelt Room event.

Trump’s plan comes as health care remains a top issue for voters ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Trump, who is seeking re-election, and Congress are also trying to pass legislation before the end of the year that would bring more transparency to health-care costs and, ultimately, lower costs for consumers.

In October, Trump issued an executive order intended to bolster Medicare Advantage, private Medicare insurance for seniors.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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