The cost item that is raising the cost of health insurance is not prescription drugs. Rather, it is the cost of hospitalization that is straining our healthcare budgets. Over 59% of Americans have had debt collectors contacting them due to past due bills. We are currently carrying well over 80 billion dollars in medical debt. Some hospital systems have become monopolies and have continued to raise prices albeit without improving services. With others, trying to read and figure out hospital billings seems veiled in foggy understanding when we try to decipher the complicated bills. It is a continuing and growing problem that Medicare plans to address in January.

Starting in 2021 CMS will begin to audit hospitals for price transparency, according to a recent statement. The new Hospital Price Transparency rule takes effect next month and will require hospitals to post their standard charges online. They must also define them in over 300 services that can you can compare nationwide. Medicare has agreed to investigate overcharge complaints. Hospitals not in compliance will be subject to civil penalties. After a warning, should the institution not correct their deficiency they could be subject to fines up to $300 daily. The American Hospital Association has requested a delay of implementation of this new rule because of the additional burden of the pandemic. It is our feeling that we need relief from hospital’s questionable and often unfair and complicated billing practices, and that the new rule should continue to be in effect.

-Louis Reinitz LJR Insurance Solutions

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