DC Attorney General Karl Racine issued a statement on Wednesday, October 13, asking nearly a dozen hospitals to explain in detail how they are providing transparency of their pricing.
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) expects hospitals in the District to fully comply with the federal regulations that went into effect earlier this year, requiring them to make their price lists for medical services easily accessible and available online.
“When consumers need critical medical care, they should know exactly what that care will cost them – and it’s up to hospitals to work in consumers’ best interest to make that pricing easily available,” Racine said in the statement. “We want to make sure District hospitals are complying with new federal regulations that require hospitals to be more transparent with consumers about the cost of services.”
NEW: When DC residents need critical medical care, they should know in advance exactly what that care will cost them. New federal regulations require hospitals to make their prices clear to consumers.
Today, I called on 11 District hospitals to prove their compliance.
— AG Karl A. Racine (@AGKarlRacine) October 13, 2021
Some hospitals around the nation intentionally hide prices from the public, according to Racine, who penned a letter to administrators of 11 DC hospitals, emphasizing the significance of price transparency at hospitals.
“Consumers seeking medical treatment often have little, if any, information about the price of services they are told they require,” wrote the DC Attorney General in his letter. “This lack of price transparency not only creates anxiety for consumers, who are already facing stressful medical situations, but it also has been shown to increase health costs generally.”
Racine also reminded the DC hospitals that failing to follow the rule would constitute violation of the District’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act, which bans deceptive and unfair business practices.