The federal government’s latest push for more health care price transparency starts July 1, and it is focused on those who are writing the checks: Health insurance companies and employers that directly pay for their workers’ medical care will have to start posting data on what they pay hospitals, doctors, and other providers.
This rule comes 18 months after a similar requirement went into effect for hospitals, which have to publish the prices they negotiated with insurers — prices that previously were treated as trade secrets and locked out of public view. Hospitals’ compliance has been dismal at best.
But unlike the hospital regulation, compliance is expected to be higher for this rule. For starters, insurers and employers face stiff penalties if they don’t publish their data. Companies involved with the new rule also say the federal government has provided more guidance on what needs to be published.