President Trump signed an executive order this afternoon directing federal agencies to increase healthcare price and quality transparency. The order specifically directs the of Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services to issue guidance and propose regulations that would disclose negotiated rates, cost-of-care and de-identified federal healthcare data, and to expand the availability of Health Savings Accounts. The order does not immediately trigger any new federal policies, except for the specific instructions to the federal agencies to develop regulatory guidance. NAHU will work with these agencies to influence the regulations and ensure that any rules that are promulgated are in the best interest of consumers.
The order includes five main provisions instructing federal agencies to issue guidance that would:
- require hospitals to disclose information about their negotiated rates in a format that’s understandable and usable by patients.
- require insurance companies to provide patients with information about cost of care, including out-of-pocket costs, before they receive services.
- develop a comprehensive roadmap for consistent, limited, consumer-centric quality metrics.
- disclose de-identified federal healthcare data that protects patient and consumer privacy, enables transformation of the healthcare marketplace, and allows researchers to develop tools and analytics to allow patients to be at the center of their healthcare.
- expand the availability of HSAs to cover direct primary care arrangements and healthcare sharing ministries, include more preventive services and products that can be covered in the deductible period, and issue guidance on the amount of funds that can be carried over at the remainder of the year for FSAs.
Source: National Association of Health Underwriters