CMS Pauses Plans to Limit Public Knowledge of Medical and Surgical Harm at Hospitals During COVID-19 Pandemic

Healthcare industry watchdog Group Leapfrog says that if CMS suppresses the data “all of us will be in the dark on which hospitals put us most at risk” For some time, hospitals and clinical laboratories have struggled with transparency regulation when it comes to patient outcomes, test prices, and costs. So, it is perplexing that while that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) pushes for more transparency in the cost of hospital care and quality, the federal agency also sought to...

New Study on Hospital Pricing by Houston Business Group Highlights Gaps Between Medicare and Private Insurance Payments

Employer group in Houston plans to use the numbers to pressure lawmakers for policy changes involving how hospitals and health plans price their services Clinical laboratory leaders will probably not be surprised to learn that wide disparities exist between what Medicare pays hospitals and what is paid by private insurers and employers. That’s according to analysis by the Houston Business Coalition on Health (HBCH) which examined costs and billing practices at four of the region’s top...

Private Labs in South Africa Voluntarily Agree to Lower Prices for COVID-19 PCR Tests following Investigation by Country’s Competition Commission

In an out-of-court settlement, two commercial clinical laboratory companies also agreed to reduce their prices for rapid antigen tests as well How clinical laboratory companies were pricing their COVID-19 tests caught the attention of government authorities in South Africa. Government agencies in that country are establishing what they view as fair clinical laboratory pricing for private COVID-19 PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and rapid antigen tests without turning to litigation or fines....

GAO Report Predicts 40% Growth in Home Care over Next 10 Years in a Trend That Has Ramifications for the Nation’s Clinical Laboratories

Healthcare policymakers continue to support the move from expensive hospitals to outpatient, ambulatory, and home health settings in ways that will change where and how medical laboratories collect lab specimens Clinical laboratories have adapted to many changes in the past decade and the increased demand for home healthcare is one of them. Thus, predictions from the US federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) that the number of home care jobs in the US will grow by 40% in the next 10...

Despite the Coronavirus Pandemic, Medicare Officials Continue Push for Price Transparency by Pressuring Hospitals to Disclose Rates Negotiated with Private Payers

Clinical laboratories are advised to continue developing methods for making prices for procedures available to the general public Even as an effective treatment for COVID-19 continues to elude federal healthcare agencies, Medicare officials are pressing ahead with efforts to bring about transparency in hospital healthcare pricing, including clinical laboratory procedures and prescription drugs costs. In FY 2021 Proposed Rule CMS-1735-P, titled, “Medicare Program; Hospital Inpatient Prospective...
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