WASHINGTON, D.C. — Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) issued the following statement in response to today’s U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means Markup of H.R. 4822, the Health Care Price Transparency Act, in addition to sending a letter to lawmakers outlining specific amendments that will strengthen this legislation to hold the hospital industry to this highest level of accountability:
Hadley Heath Manning, vice president for policy at Independent Women’s Voice said, “HR 4822, the Health Care Price Transparency Act of 2023, has the potential to help patients if it is amended in a few critical ways. While I’m sure many in the hospital industry would prefer using a price estimator tool instead of offering patients real price information, estimates aren’t prices. If patients don’t have real prices, we don’t have real price transparency. And patients should have access to all prices – including the negotiated rates their insurers pay on their behalf – in a machine readable format. This is what is needed in order for patients, and others, like employers and price-comparison tools such as applications and websites, to make decisions that save money and lower overall healthcare costs.”
Manning continued, “Sadly, we know that unless hospitals are held to this high level of accountability, they will continue to keep as much pricing information secret as possible. These requirements — real prices, negotiated rates, and machine-readable files — are already included in federal regulations (which are currently under-enforced), but HR 4822 in its current form has the potential to undermine these existing regulations. We call upon lawmakers to amend HR 4822 to make it just as strong as federal price transparency regulations – or even stronger.”
Healthcare price transparency is an issue with bipartisan support. A SocialSphere poll found 92% of Americans support it. Yet, without REAL price transparency in health care patients cannot get the quality, affordable health care they deserve.
Without REAL price transparency in health care we cannot get the quality, affordable health care Americans deserve. Here is a simple checklist from IWV of words, terms and provisions that let you determine the difference between genuine transparency and smoke-and-mirrors rhetoric.