The federal government should be prohibited from implementing its new price transparency requirement for hospitals, a group of hospital trade groups and health systems has declared in a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The requirement exceeds the federal government’s authority, the suit maintains, and its implementation would create an undue burden on hospitals, cost a great deal of money, require hospitals to divulge proprietary information, inhibit competition, and overwhelm their information systems.  Even after all of that, the suit claims, consumers would still not have useful information because insurers, not hospitals, are the key in determining what consumers pay for the care they receive.

In response to the suit, an HHS spokesman, according to the online publication Healthcare Dive, said that

Hospitals should be ashamed that they aren’t willing to provide American patients the cost of a service before they purchase it.

NASH conveyed its opposition to the price transparency requirement in a September 26, 2019 letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in response to that agency’s proposed outpatient prospective payment system regulation, which included the transparency requirement.

The requirement will take effect on January 1, 2021.  The hospital groups and systems that filed the suit have asked the court for a prompt ruling.

Learn more in the Healthcare Dive article “Hospitals sue HHS, warning price transparency rule would chill competition, crash computers.”