Last week, President Trump issued an Executive Order intending to develop price and quality transparency initiatives to insure that healthcare patients can make well-informed decisions about their health care. Government and patient groups alike have been clamoring for greater transparency in the costs of services from hospitals and other service providers for quite some time. Transparency would provide patients the opportunity to make more informed decisions regarding health care services.
The order also addresses “surprise billing”, which has become common in recent years. Surprise billing occurs when a patient seeks services from a facility that is in-network and part of their health plan, but receives certain services from a provider who is not part of the facility contract. The patient is then charged an out-of-network charge for those services because it is not covered under their health plan, despite the facility being at an in-network service provider facility. The Executive Order, directs agencies to identify and report on steps that can be taken to control surprise billing issues.
Under the Executive Order there are no changes to existing regulations, but employers and employees alike should be aware that new changes may occur should new regulations be approved as a result of the Executive Order in the future.