The bills, passed with support from both Republicans and Democrats, address concerns over dishonest billing practices, complex rules, and questionable industry behaviors that result in exorbitant healthcare expenses.
Bipartisan legislation took a significant step forward on Wednesday as the House Committee on Education and the Workforce approved four bills aimed at tackling healthcare pricing transparency and reducing costs
Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) emphasized the importance of the Bipartisan legislation healthcare package, stating that it brings much-needed clarity to patients and contributes to the creation of a transparent, affordable, and accessible healthcare system.
The Bipartisan legislation measures specifically target areas of medical billing that were not adequately addressed by the No Surprises Act of 2021, which aimed to address unexpected bills from out-of-network healthcare providers.
One of the Bipartisan legislation bills, the Hidden Fee Disclosure Act (HR 4508), mandates that healthcare providers furnish patients with transparent cost information through price comparisons before administering treatment. This Bipartisan legislation bill also addresses the role of pharmacy benefits managers in determining prescription drug costs.
Complementing HR 4508, the Healthcare DATA Act (HR 4527) requires healthcare practitioners to provide accurate data to insurance companies, facilitating better information sharing with consumers
Another Bipartisan legislation bill, the Transparency in Coverage Act (HR 4507), enshrines a Trump-era rule that obliges health insurance plans to disclose negotiated rates and cost-sharing estimates to the public. This rule hailed as a bipartisan success by Chairwoman Foxx, has already resulted in millions of dollars in healthcare cost savings.
Finally, the Transparency in Billing Act (HR 4509), authored by both Chairwoman Foxx and ranking member Bobby Scott (D-VA), ensures that hospitals provide detailed explanations of charges and prohibits the inclusion of unnecessary facility fees.
Last week, President Joe Biden unveiled his “Bidenomics” plan to lower healthcare costs, accompanied by new guidelines mandating insurance companies to clearly distinguish between in-network and out-of-network providers. Ranking member Bobby Scott expressed gratitude to his colleagues from both sides of the aisle for their efforts in passing this bipartisan legislation and voiced his hope that such collaborative work will continue to address other healthcare-related issues in the future.
With these Bipartisan legislation bills advancing, there is optimism that the fight against rising healthcare costs will yield positive outcomes, ultimately benefiting patients and families.