Lesley R. Yeung, Senior Counsel, in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Healthcare Financial Management Association, in “CMS Plans Aggressive Price Transparency Enforcement While Hospitals Urge a Halt to the New Rules,” by Rich Daly.

Following is an excerpt:

CMS notified hospitals on Dec. 18 that beginning in January it plans to audit the websites of “a sample of hospitals” to determine compliance with the new price transparency requirements, which take effect Jan. 1. Additionally, it plans to investigate rule-related complaints that are “submitted to CMS” and to review “analyses of non-compliance.”

“CMS is trying to send a signal that hospitals need to pay attention to this,” Lesley Yeung, a senior counsel for Epstein Becker Green, said in an interview. “I took this as CMS signaling, ‘Yes, we want this to go into place and we want you, hospitals, to take it seriously.’” ...

The American Hospital Association wrote a Dec. 11 letter to the incoming Biden administration urging it to “[r]escind provider requirements to publicly disclose negotiated rates that do nothing to help patients understand their costs, could result in anticompetitive actions on the part of health plans, and, according to the Federal Trade Commission, could result in high costs for patients.”

However, price transparency initiatives generally have bipartisan support, Yeung said. Plus, the looming requirements were seen as building on price transparency rules included in the Affordable Care Act, which Biden helped become law in the early years of the Obama administration.

“So, it’s less clear that they would automatically come in and put holds on it,” Yeung said. “But they may come in and put holds on everything just to stop and see the lay of the land before moving forward.” ...

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