WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRPROUD) — Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) introduced a bill to make hospital bills easier to read this week. The Hospital Transparency Compliance Enforcement Act would add penalties on hospitals that keep patients from seeing the true costs of products and services.
“Patients deserve to know the true cost of hospital items and services. I wrote this bill
to protect patients by making hospitals clarify how much a visit might really cost so that
patients can make informed choices about their care,” said Kennedy.
The bill, if passed, would make hospitals keep a public list of prices for everything. The hospital also must display the costs in a way people can easily access. According to a 2023 study, out of 2,000 hospitals, only 489 would be considered totally compliant.
In January 2022 penalties were increased for hospitals that don’t follow existing transparency rules. The scale is from $300 to $5,500 a day and depends on the facility size.
This proposal would double the current penalty, require all hospitals to comply in six months, keep hospitals from hiding information on their websites, and give hospitals 60 days after notice to pay the penalty. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would publish hospitals that aren’t in compliance.
The full introduction of the bill can be read below.