A new rule going into effect January 1, 2019, will require hospitals to post a list of their standard prices online and make electronic medical records more readily available to patients.
The new rule, called the Inpatient Prospective Payment System rule, is part of a Medicare program aimed at pricing transparency in the healthcare system.
In March, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Seema Verma said the new requirement for online prices reflects the Trump administration’s ongoing efforts to encourage patients to become better-educated decision makers in their own care.
“We are just beginning on price transparency,” said Verma. “We know that hospitals have this information and we’re asking them to post what they have online.”
Hospitals are already required to disclose prices publicly, but this change will put that information online in a machine-readable format that can be easily processed by computers.