Industry Skeptical About New Price Transparency Rules

October 7, 2019
MHE Staff
MHE Staff

Survey reveals stakeholders are taking a ‘wait-and-see’ attitude.

Healthcare CEOs and C-suite executives question whether new price transparency rules will go into effect as proposed, according to a new survey by Advis, a national healthcare consulting firm.

While President Donald Trump has signed an executive order on price transparency aimed primarily at giving patients access to price and quality information about their healthcare services, key stakeholders aren’t doing much about it as they wait to see how it plays out.

Advis surveyed 161 executives, representing hospitals and health systems across the nation, for its 2019 healthcare price transparency survey. Here are key findings:

• 64% of respondents don’t believe most recently proposed price transparency rules will go into effect.

• 64% also don’t believe the proposed price transparency rules will have a meaningful impact on consumers’ ability to shop for healthcare.

• More than half (54%) of respondents don’t believe consumers will actually shop for healthcare services like they do for other services. 

• Nearly half of respondents (49%) say that uncertainty surrounding implementation, including ability to meet the deadline for disclosure and other CMS requirements will be most problematic to their organization if the proposed price transparency rules are finalized. Cost of implementation and ongoing compliance was a close second (44%).

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• The top answer when inquiring what measures an organization has taken to prepare for price transparency proposals is nothing; 44% said they are waiting to see the final rules. 

• Respondents’ predictions for how the recent push for price transparency will most impact the healthcare industry include: further migration of certain services from inpatient to outpatient (38%); little to no impact on pricing and consumer behavior (22%); overall decrease in negotiated rates with payers (27%); and overall increase in negotiated rates with payers (11%).

“The administration seems serious about transparency, but most healthcare executives find it highly unlikely these rules will ever go into effect,” says Lyndean Brick, president and CEO of Advis. “Many believe the rules are simply political while others think they will prove impossible to implement. Most executives anticipate an implementation delay after the commentary period closes and comments are reviewed. The proposed rules are ambiguous; they lack direction; the language is vague, requiring interpretation and demanding clarification,” Brick adds. “The majority of executives expect the ruling to be challenged in the courts.”