Melinda Hatton, General Counsel, American Hospital Association
America's hospitals and health systems support the goal of increasing price transparency by making patient out-of-pocket cost estimates easier to access and understand. Our focus remains on providing patients with the knowledge they actually need to make informed decisions about their health care. That is why we are disappointed in today's decision to uphold the District Court rejection of hospitals' challenge to the rule. Further, the decision to decline a stay in enforcement ignores the overwhelming burden of the pandemic on hospitals.
The AHA continues to believe that the disclosure of privately negotiated rates does nothing to help patients understand what they will actually pay for treatment and will create widespread confusion for them. We also believe it will accelerate anticompetitive behavior among commercial health insurers and hinder innovations in value-based care delivery. Lastly, the requirement imposes significant costs on care providers at a time when scarce resources are needed to fight COVID-19 and save lives. For these reasons, the AHA has urged the incoming administration to evaluate whether the rule should be revised and to exercise enforcement discretion for the duration of the public health emergency.
We are reviewing the decision carefully to determine next steps.