Maryville, TN – Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said the Trump Administration’s final rule requiring health insurers to disclose price and out-of-pocket costs information will protect patients and contain costs, adding that Congress should do its part by passing the bipartisan, bicameral Lower Health Care Costs Act.
“You can’t lower your health care costs until you know what your health care costs,” Alexander said. “The Senate health committee and two House committees agree on provisions to increase transparency, consistent with today’s action by the Trump Administration which will help patients have a clearer understanding of what their health care costs by requiring health insurers to disclose greater pricing information.”Alexander continued: “Congress should now do its part to help patients make more informed health care decisions by passing the Lower Health Care Costs Act which includes further transparency provisions that would let patients know in advance of a doctor’s visit how much they will owe out of their own pocket, ban gag clauses between payers and providers which keep patients from knowing the lowest possible price, and help states establish All Payer Claims Databases which make data available for providers to improve quality and insurers to contain costs.”
The Lower Health Care Cost Act is a bipartisan, bicameral proposal supported by three congressional committees. The legislation ends surprise medical billing by protecting patients from billing disputes, providing timely payments to health care providers based on where the patient lives and where they receive care, and creating a system of Independent Dispute Resolution, more commonly referred to as baseball-style arbitration.
Additionally, the legislation increases transparency, improves public health, lowers drug costs, and enhances the exchange of health information. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the legislation would offer enough savings to provide five years of funding for the 1,400 Community Health Centers that provide health care for 27 million Americans at 12,000 sites across the country.