CMS may repeal hospitals price-posting requirement: What ASCs should know

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CMS proposed eliminating a price transparency requirement for hospitals in its 2022 Inpatient Prospective Payment Systems proposed rule, released April 27.

The agency began requiring hospitals post negotiated rates for hundreds of services and procedures online Jan. 1. Many hospitals scrambled to meet the requirements, which CMS heralded as more consumer-friendly.

ASC owners and operators saw the requirements as a potential boon for surgery centers, which usually are lower-cost sites of care.

"Price transparency is good for ASCs," said Andrew Gwinnell, executive director of Truvista Surgery Center in Detroit. "Allowing patients to pull back the curtain will help them make informed decisions regarding their care. Our value proposition of high quality care at lower costs will be more accessible and further highlighted for the public."

CMS proposed repealing the requirement for reporting median payer-specific negotiated rates next year, claiming it will reduce the administrative burden on hospitals by about 64,000 hours. ASCs are not required to post prices online, although some centers do have bundled prices available as a tool to attract cash-paying patients, individuals with high-deductible health plans and employers.

"As the cost of healthcare benefits for employees continues to rise, we are seeing continued requests for contracts that allow employers to provide high quality care services to their employees at a significant cost savings to the employer," Mike Grant, administrator of Surgery Center of Amarillo (Texas), told Becker's.

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