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  • Washington Highlights

    President Issues Executive Order on Price Transparency

    Allyson Perleoni, Director, Government Relations

    The President June 24 signed an Executive Order titled “Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to Put Patients First.”

    The order directs federal agencies to issue regulations in an attempt to improve transparency relating to health care prices and quality.

    At a press event on the Executive Order, President Trump stated, “Prices will come down by numbers you won’t even believe … More transparency will mean more competition and the cost of health care will go way, way down.”

    The order has six main directives, including:

    • Directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue regulations within 60 days to require hospitals to publicly post standard charge information, including information based on negotiated rates, in an easy-to-understand format;
    • Directing the Secretaries of HHS, Treasury, and Labor to issue an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking within 90 days seeking comment on proposals to require providers and insurers to provide patient access to information about expected out-of-pocket costs prior to receiving health care services;
    • Requiring the HHS Secretary with the Attorney General and Federal Trade Commission to issue a report within 180 days on the ways the federal government and the private sector impede health care price and quality transparency, and also providing solutions for promoting competition and eliminating the identified barriers;
    • Directing the HHS Secretary in consultation with other federal department and agencies within 180 days to increase access to deidentified claims data from federal health care programs and health plans for the development of tools that inform patients about purchasing care;
    • Requiring the Treasury Secretary within 120 days to propose regulations to expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible health plans, within 180 days to propose regulations to treat expenses related to certain types of arrangements (e.g., primary care arrangements) as eligible medical expenses, and within 180 days to issue guidance to increase the amount of flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) that an individual can carry over without penalty at the end of the year; and
    • Directing the HHS Secretary to submit a report to the President on administrative steps that can be taken to address surprise medical bills.