New Hospital Price Transparency Rule Goes Into Effect

From Becker’s Legal & Regulatory Issues

The new CMS price transparency rule went into effect July 1, requiring hospitals to report price information in a standard machine-readable format, according to the American Hospital Association.

The agency finalized changes to the hospital price transparency requirements as part of the 2024 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System and ASC rule. CMS hopes the new file format requirements will make it easier for the public to learn about hospital charges.

Hospitals must include the price transparency information as a single file intended to be read by machines to process standard charge information. Hospitals are required to conform to a standard CMS template layout with data specifications and data dictionary.

The final rule also mandates hospitals put a “footer” at the bottom of their homepage linking to the webpage with the machine readable file, and ensure a .txt file is included in the root folder of the website, according to a CMS information page.

“The .txt file must identify the URL for both the MRF and the webpage that contains the link to the MRF. CMS believes these requirements will improve the automated accessibility of hospital standard charges information and streamline CMS enforcement of the requirements,” CMS wrote.

CMS will warn hospitals not in compliance and require them to submit an acknowledgement of receipt for any warning notices. The agency is also able to communicate directly with health system leadership about an issue and will publish enforcement activities in addition to civil monetary penalties as part of the final rule.

Read more from the fact sheet here.