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Blowback on CMS price transparency rule | POLITICO

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Hospitals are required to post their list prices online, per a CMS price transparency rule taking effect Jan 1. Critics — including insurance startup Devoted Health’s tech lead and former federal chief data scientist DJ Patil — say the rule leaves room for “passive aggressive compliance”: presenting the information, but in an unintelligible format.

In a call with reporters Thursday, CMS administrator Seema Verma said the rule was “really just a beginning of the conversation.” Her agency may examine penalties for hospitals that don’t comply. “They don’t have to wait for us to go further in helping their patients understand what care will cost,” she said.

…House lawmakers took aim at CMS’s own transparency practices this week, our colleague Adam Cancryn reports. The top Republican and Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee said in a letter to CMS that the Trump administration should do more to keep Congress in the loop on demonstration projects that could significantly alter Medicare’s direction.

Rep. Richard Neal and ranking Republican Rep. Kevin Brady’s call comes as administration officials tout CMS’ Innovation Center as a key locale for testing ideas to move the health system toward paying for value instead of services.

While the office has been relatively quiet under President Donald Trump, CMMI is preparing to roll out a pilot allowing Medicare to link the prices of some drugs to lower prices in other countries. It is also expected to release new projects affecting providers soon.

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Blowback on CMS price transparency rule – POLITICO.

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