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Trump price transparency proposals take long bet on curbing costs | Modern Healthcare

Requiring hospitals to display their insurer-negotiated prices online likely won’t lower healthcare spending in the near term. But economists and other experts say it’s a worthwhile experiment in bringing transparency to one of the few industries in which patients often don’t know the cost of a service before they buy it.

The Trump administration earlier this week issued a proposed rule that would force most hospitals in the country to post on their websites the closely guarded rates for certain healthcare services that they work out with insurance companies behind closed doors. The outcry from hospital and insurance trade associations was swift.

They argued that patients don’t need to see those negotiated rates because they are interested only in an estimate of out-of-pocket costs, which some hospitals are already providing to patients through online cost transparency tools. Hospital lobbying groups and insurers—who are expected to sue to stop the requirement—warned that exposing the rates could undermine their ability to negotiate with each other.

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Trump price transparency proposals take long bet on curbing costs.

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