Health Care

Trump Signs Executive Order To Overhaul Our Health Care System

Trump Signs Executive Order To Overhaul Our Health Care System”

On a call with reporters Monday, HHS Secretary Alex Azar said people need to know more so they can be wise consumers of healthcare.

The administration took a step toward more transparency earlier this year by requiring hospitals to post their list prices, known as the chargemaster, online. FierceHealthcare subscribers rely on our suite of newsletters as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data impacting their world.

The information that would result from Trump's executive order would provide more detail based on negotiated, discounted rates. Specifically, the agencies are required to offer two proposals: regulations requiring hospitals to disclose actual costs patients will pay and others requiring insurers and providers to inform patients of out-of-pocket costs before rendering any services.

Prices paid by private insurers can be many times the amounts paid by Medicare, the government health insurance program for older Americans, research by health economists has found.

The order also instructs officials to encourage people to use health-savings accounts-an arrangement long touted by conservatives that enables people, or their employers, to put money into tax-preferred accounts for medical expenses, often used in tandem with insurance policies that have high deductibles.

The order also directs HHS to come up with a solution for situations where patients unknowingly receive medical treatment from doctors outside of their insurance networks. That will involve a complex give-and-take with hospitals and others industries affected.

"Publicly disclosing competitively negotiated, proprietary rates will reduce competition and push prices higher - not lower - for consumers, patients, and taxpayers", said Matt Eyles, CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans in a statement to NPR.

A senior administration official told reporters that the order "does not specify the precise level of detail or individual versus aggregated information", adding that it would be a part of the rule-making process.

"Every time one of us goes to a hospital, within a couple of weeks there arrives an explanation of benefits that contains the list price, the negotiated price and your out-of-pocket cost", Azar said.

Push back from various corners of the healthcare industry came quickly, with hospital and health plan lobbying organizations arguing this transparency requirement would have the unintended outcome of pushing prices up, rather than down. "The rates are there".

"This is not some great state secret out there", he said. "Because of this you'll be able to search out for the right doctor and it really is in a true sense the opposite of Obamacare", President Trump said.

"Currently, patients do not have adequate tools to find the doctors who would deliver better health outcomes at an affordable cost", Trump said.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday aimed at curbing health care costs by requiring health insurers and providers to reveal pricing for care to patients. The president is calling for the prices that insurers negotiate with hospitals to be made public, and a number of people have told me that this could actually cause hospitals and physicians to ask for higher reimbursements going forward. "The Federal Trade Commission has said that spending would likely increase if hospital-insurer payment arrangements were published".

Trump said the "lack of price transparency has enriched industry giants greatly", asking why the issue was not addressed already.

"We also agree that patients should have accurate, real-time information about costs so they can make the best, most informed decisions about their care".



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