Brian Blase, Doug Badger, and Josh Archambault argue in National Review that new funding to hospitals should be coupled with reforms that will protect patients from surprise medical bills and require price transparency.
Congress has provided more than $100 billion to help hospitals whose revenue has plummeted during the coronavirus crisis and is preparing to spend another $75 in legislation that the Senate is expected to consider his afternoon.
“With all the spending Congress already has approved, additional money for hospitals at this time is not responsible,” the authors argue. But since it appears inevitable, “it’s vital that certain conditions be placed to protect consumers. These could be modeled on HHS’s wise decision to condition receipt of the initial bailout funds on hospitals’ agreement not to charge patients more for coronavirus treatments than their insurance company agrees to pay, preventing a practice called balance billing.”
In addition, “Congress should codify an HHS rule that requires hospitals to post prices by January 1, 2021. Right now, hospitals are suing to block this rule…Tens of millions of workers have lost jobs, and money for families is extremely tight. A more transparent system will enable better health decisions and will also help employers structure benefits as they try to keep their business afloat.”
Read the full article at National Review.