New Price Transparency Rules for Hospitals

Hospitals will be required to release a standard list of prices for their medical services under a new rule proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

Instituted as part of the Affordable Care Act, the requirement can also be fulfilled if hospitals allow the public access to the data after an inquiry, CMS said.

The program was outlined in a wide-ranging, nearly 1,700-page regulation on inpatient hospital payments released to lawmakers and the public on Wednesday night.ObamaCare contains several policies to encourage greater price transparency in healthcare on the logic that better informed consumers will help drive down irrational medical charges.Hospital pricing is notoriously variable, as the administration confirmed in a May 2013 release of data on what hospitals charge for common in-patient services.