Murkowski Commends Administration Efforts to Increase Hospital Price Transparency

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) welcomed the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ announcement of newly proposed rules aimed to provide patients with clear and accessible information about the cost of healthcare. The proposed rules establish transparency requirements to make pricing information publically available as well as change payment policies under the physician fee schedule and other Part B payment policies.

“Greater transparency is one key piece of the puzzle when it comes to addressing the rising costs of healthcare,” said Senator Murkowski. “I’m encouraged to see these efforts to increase price transparency and give patients more information about healthcare costs. Ensuring greater transparency of costs can help increase competition and protect patients from unexpected expenses. Far too many families receive unwelcomed surprises in the mail after going to the ER or having a much needed surgery, leaving them with considerable bills between hundreds and thousands of dollars. As we wrestle with the complicated questions of how to pay for ever increasing costs in care, we want to do everything possible to ensure that consumers are no longer used as a bargaining chip. To achieve this, we must, at a minimum, give consumers access to accurate information about the prices they are expected to pay.” 

Senator Murkowski, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, has been working to protect patients from surprise medical bills. In June 2019 during a HELP Committee Executive Session, Senator Murkowski voted in favor of the Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019, legislation aimed at lowering the costs of healthcare by ending surprise medical billing, creating more transparency, and increasing prescription drug competition. The Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019 also includes the FAIR Drug Pricing Act, a provision cosponsored by Senator Murkowski that aims to help address skyrocketing prescription drug prices by requiring transparency for pharmaceutical corporations that seek to increase drug prices.

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