Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued a statement after the Trump administration announced new efforts to increase price transparency in health care:
“American families are struggling to pay for health care, and the opaque pricing system used by hospitals and insurance companies makes it even harder,” Wyden said. “Price transparency is the first step to help consumers get a handle on what they’re in for when they head to the doctor or hospital. However, as written these rules risk giving any part of the health care industry the upper hand, which could lead to higher prices. That’s why I introduced a bill that takes an important first step to allow American families to know what they’ll pay beforehand, instead of after they’ve been stuck with an astronomical bill.”
Earlier this year, Wyden introduced the “Health Care Price Check Act of 2019,” which requires Medicare and insurance companies to make available an online tool and a toll free number for beneficiaries to inquire about the cost, for that specific consumer, of any service, procedure or product, including prescription drugs. The bill also requires insurers to offer information on provider quality, and to notify consumers if the provider is out-of-network.