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President Trump with HHS Sec. Alex Azar. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Trump administration has released two new rules requiring hospitals and insurers to make their negotiated prices public, giving patients the ability to shop around for care based on price.

The big picture: The rules — one final and one proposed — could have a huge impact on the health care system, and will surely be fought by the industry — including in court.

Between the lines: The hospital price transparency rule, which requires the disclosure of negotiated rates, is final and will be implemented in January 2021 — if it withstands the legal challenges that will almost certainly be made against it.

  • A second rule, which requires insurers to tell patients their out-of-pocket obligations ahead of time, was proposed, giving the industry time to fight its finalization.

Details: Hospitals will be required to make all of their charges public in a machine-readable file, including payer-specific negotiated rates, the amount the hospital will accept in cash for a service, and the minimum and maximum negotiated rates.

  • Hospitals will also be required to release the same information for 300 shoppable services in a consumer-friendly method, meaning one that patients can use.
  • The rule gives the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services the authority to fine hospitals that don't comply $300 per day.

Insurers, under the proposed rule, would have to offer enrollees personalized information about their cost-sharing obligations for all covered services.

  • Insurers would also have to disclose their negotiated rates for in-network providers and what they'll pay for out-of-network providers.

Go deeper

Kate Marino, author of Markets
59 mins ago - Economy & Business

Omicron outbreaks were bad for business in January

Data: New York Federal Reserve Bank; Chart: Axios Visuals

Emerging anecdotal evidence shows just how hard the recent rise in COVID-19 cases hit businesses in early January — but that hasn't hurt some business leaders’ longer-term views on their companies' prospects.

Why it matters: Increasingly, the economic recovery has come in fits and starts that move in tandem with new peaks in cases. Look no further than the thousands of cancelled flights and shuttered Broadway theaters in the wake of the Omicron variant's spread over the last few months.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
1 hour ago - Health

The shifting definition of fully vaccinated

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The definition of what it means to be "fully vaccinated" is evolving even as the CDC has remained careful not to officially change it.

Why it matters: CDC officials have been balancing the job of convincing Americans who've already gotten two doses of the importance of boosters with getting many Americans who still need their first doses to get their shots at all.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Small businesses see hiring as No. 1 worry

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Almost every small business owner in a Goldman Sachs survey is having trouble hiring — and two-thirds think the federal government has done too little to ease their hiring, supply-chain and inflation worries.

Why it matters: The Goldman Sachs research gives a vivid window into the continuing headwinds and hardship for entrepreneurs.