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Hospitals lose battle in keeping prices secret

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A coalition of hospital groups lost their attempt to block the Trump administration from requiring hospitals to disclose the prices they privately negotiate with insurers.

Tuesday Trump tweeted "Patients deserve to know the price of care before they enter the hospital. Because of my action, they will."

The president issued the executive order last summer, believing that price transparency would reduce health care costs.

The plaintiffs, which include three medical organizations and three hospitals, argue patients could be confused by the rates since they are different than their out-of-pocket obligations.

The president's executive order also requires hospitals to reveal the amounts they are willing to accept in cash for an item or service such as x-rays, outpatient visits and lab tests.

According to the judge's ruling, this information must be made public by 2021.

One of the plaintiffs, the American Hospital Association, has already said it plans to appeal the ruling.

Some experts say the ruling won't help consumers because they don't typically shop for medical services.

Posted - 6.24.20

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