The Trump administration won a federal court ruling Tuesday upholding its plan to require hospitals to disclose the secret rates they negotiate with health insurers.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar called the decision “a resounding victory for President Trump and HHS’s agenda to lower Americans’ healthcare costs.” The president celebrated the decision in a Tuesday night tweet: “BIG VICTORY for patients – Federal court UPHOLDS hospital price transparency. Patients deserve to know the price of care BEFORE they enter the hospital. Because of my action, they will. This may very well be bigger than healthcare itself. Congratulations America! ‘’
The American Hospital Association, a hospital trade group, had sought to block implementation of the Trump administration’s rule, arguing that it violated the First Amendment and goes beyond the intent of the Affordable Care Act. Insurers also oppose the plan.
“The proposal does nothing to help patients understand their out-of-pocket costs. It also imposes significant burdens on hospitals at a time when resources are stretched thin and need to be devoted to patient care,” Melinda Hatton, the AHA’s general counsel, said in a statement after the ruling. “Hospitals and health systems have consistently supported efforts to provide patients with information about the costs of their medical care. This is not the right way to achieve this important goal.”
Hatton said the AHA plans to appeal the court’s decision and seek an expedited review. The administration’s rule is scheduled to take effect in January.