Executive order aims to improve health care price transparency

Hospital bill with costs highlighted

Earlier this summer, President Trump signed an executive order designed to assist consumers in making better-informed decisions regarding the price and quality of healthcare services available to them.

In a business Q&A with The Oklahoman, employee benefits and transactional lawyer Lake Moore explained that the objective of the order was to require hospitals to be more transparent in the cost of certain healthcare procedures.  The administration believes such transparency should increase competition among hospitals and result in lower prices for consumers.

“The administration has identified certain healthcare procedures as being “shoppable,” meaning that they are offered by a large number of providers in the market,” said Moore. 
The executive order, and the Health and Human Services regulations implementing the order, requires hospitals to list the prices for 300 shoppable services – 75 procedures that are specifically required and 225 additional procedures of the hospitals’ choosing.”

The order is also designed to curb “surprise billing,” which occurs when patients are hit with unexpectedly high costs from an out-of-network provider that they did not have the ability to choose for themselves.

“The administration argues that if consumers can get an accurate picture of prices prior to treatment, patients can better prepare for their share of the cost by saving up or choosing another provider,” said Moore.