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A patient likely has no idea how much this blood draw costs. Photo: Glenn Koenig/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Starting in 2020, hospitals have to start publicly publishing the negotiated prices of procedures and tests they receive from health insurers, according to a proposed regulation from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Why it matters: Seeing the secretly negotiated amounts that private insurers actually pay for hospital care would shed light on the true cost of care. But some experts worry patients wouldn't know what to do with that information, and the disclosure could lead to lower-priced hospitals raising their rates.

Between the lines: CMS already requires hospitals to publish the list prices of their services, which don't reflect insurance discounts but do apply to people who are uninsured or receive care that is out-of-network.

  • But this proposal would go a lot further, by requiring all hospitals to show how much they get paid for at least 300 "shoppable" services, like imaging scans and scheduled surgeries, from every commercial insurer that has a contract with them.
  • The data has to be in a machine-readable format as well, which would help health care researchers.

Yes, but: Hospitals that don't comply with this requirement would face a maximum penalty of $300 per day, or about $110,000 per year.

  • That's a drop in the bucket for the largest hospital systems, raising questions about whether dominant organizations would follow the regulation.
  • But the fines would be tougher to swallow for smaller, rural facilities.

Go deeper: Washington's favorite health policy isn't a silver bullet

Go deeper

Biden calls Fox News reporter a "stupid son of a b---h" on hot mic

President Biden blasted Fox News' Peter Doocy on Monday after the reporter asked if the nation's soaring inflation is a political liability, saying, "what a stupid son of a b----h."

Driving the news: The Biden administration has faced rising inflation rates over recent months, which it has labeled as "transitory."

2 hours ago - World

Soldiers seize power in Burkina Faso as global coup surge continues

Mutinous soldiers in Burkina Faso declared on state television Monday that they had deposed the government, closed the borders, and taken control of the country. President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré has reportedly been arrested.

The big picture: This would be the third successful military coup in west Africa in eight months, after juntas took power last year in Guinea and in neighboring Mali.

3 hours ago - World

Pentagon: 8,500 troops on high alert for possible deployment to eastern Europe

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 U.S. troops on "heightened preparedness to deploy" to eastern Europe in case NATO activates its rapid-response force over tensions with Russia, the Pentagon announced Monday.

Why it matters: No decisions have been made to actually deploy U.S. forces, but the heightened alert level will allow the military to rapidly shore up NATO's eastern flank in the event that Russia invades Ukraine. The Pentagon warned that Russia has shown "no signs of de-escalating," and continues to amass troops on Ukraine's borders.