The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has provided additional guidance on a hospital price transparency policy that goes into effect January 1, 2019. By that date, hospitals must make available a list of their current standard charges via the internet in a machine readable format and update this information at least annually, or more often as appropriate. This could be in the form of the chargemaster itself or another form of the hospital’s choice, as long as the information is in machine readable format.
CMS recently posted an FAQ document with more information about this requirement, including confirmation that the requirements apply to all items and services provided by the hospital. Furthermore, CMS stresses that no hospitals in the United States are exempt from this federal mandate, even if the hospital participates in a state online price transparency initiative. While the format used is the hospital’s choice as long as the information represents the hospital’s current standard charges as reflected in its chargemaster, the information must be in a machine readable format, which excludes a PDF document.