Capitol Correspondence - 07.27.21

CMS Proposes Rule to Increase Access and Hospital Price Transparency

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a new rule, filed July 19, 2021, in accordance with President Biden’s Competition Executive Order to improve access to emergency care access in rural communities and ensure hospital price transparency.

Full text: Federal Register :: Federal Register Documents Currently on Public Inspection

Included in the new rule:

  • Price Transparency: CMS proposes to increase the penalty for hospitals that do not comply with Hospital Price Transparency, requiring hospitals publicly disclose standard charges and list pricing information before providing services.
  • Health Equity: CMS is seeking input on data collection, analysis, and reporting of quality measures by demographic data points to inform health disparities.
  • Access to Emergency Care in Rural Areas: CMS is seeking input on potential services and standards for application to newly created Rural Emergency Hospitals under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.
  • COVID-19 Lessons: CMS is seeking comment on the extent to which hospitals are using flexibilities offered during the Public Health Emergency for consideration of permanent change and requirements to make healthcare worker vaccination data available to the public.
  • Improving Patient Experience and Outcomes: CMS is proposing changes to the Radiation Oncology Model to improve quality of care for cancer patients receiving radiotherapy and move to a simplified and predictable payment system.
  • Patient Safety: CMS is proposing to halt the phased elimination of the Inpatient-Only list, procedures that Medicare only pays for in the inpatient setting, and add back to covered services in 2022.

Written comments can be made by sixty (60) days after the date of filing electronically at under the “submit a comment” tab or by regular mail to the Department of Health and Human Services, Attn: CMS-1753-P, P.O. Box 8010, Baltimore MD 21244-1850.

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