President Trump touted a “great victory” after a federal judge rejected the American Hospital Association’s challenge to a rule by the Trump administration that forced them to disclose prices negotiated with insurers.
“GREAT VICTORY for patients: Federal court ENCOURAGES transparency in hospital prices,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “Patients deserve to know the price of care BEFORE entering the hospital. Because of my action, they will. This may very well be bigger than medical care itself. Congratulations, United States!”
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Judge Carl Nichols, appointed by Trump, on Tuesday granted the administration’s motion for summary judgment, which means he did not go to trial. The AHA said it will appeal.
The hospital industry argued that the rule will not help patients understand their out-of-pocket costs after the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed the rule in 2019.
“We are disappointed with today’s decision in favor of the administration’s flawed proposal to require the disclosure of privately negotiated rates,” the AHA said in a statement. “It also places significant burdens on hospitals at a time when resources are depleted and must be devoted to patient care. Hospitals and health systems have consistently supported efforts to provide patients with information about the costs of their care. This is not the right way to achieve this important goal. “
Several free market groups presented an amicus report in support of the administration in February. The founder of one of those groups, Cynthia Fisher, an advocate for patient rights, said the rule will reduce “rampant price extortion.”
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“The judge’s stinging rebuke of the hospital lobby’s claim that publishing prices violates their First Amendment rights and would confuse patients confirms what economists, patient advocates, and health care consumers have long argued : Real prices are the key to reducing America’s devastating health care costs. ” she said in a statement.