New hospital price transparency rule draws response from Missouri health care sector

Missouri hospitals — and ones across the nation – have to abide by a new federal requirement that calls for hospitals to publicly disclose pricing for all their services. Hospitals in the state have expressed mixed reviews of the rule, which took effect Tuesday.

The requirement was put in place by the Trump administration but stems from President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Springfield based-CoxHealth says it is happy to be transparent with patients. CoxHealth spokesperson Kaitlyn McConnell said new requirement requires pricing be available for hospital services, not primary physicians.

The transparent numbers are just an estimate. Some groups worry that the posted rates, the official “charge master rates,” will cause confusion and might mislead patients because they don’t reflect what most patients will actually pay, based on health insurance coverage.

Missouri Hospital Association spokesperson Dave Dillon said the federal change is a “blunt instrument at this point.” He said the rates don’t accurately reflect what any patient would pay, including individuals who pay out of pocket.

CoxHealth’s McConnell said the new rule is a step in the right direction for easily accessible pricing information.

Read more: Missourinet

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