(BOSTON) – “We commend the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) for releasing this important data and shedding light on opaque and wildly inconsistent hospital billing practices that often don’t reflect the actual cost of treatment.

“Transparency around hospital billing is critical for patients. Such variance in hospital billing puts a tremendous burden on patients that can least afford it – uninsured and underinsured patients who are charged the full freight. This practice is often compounded by aggressive billing and collections that can have long-term adverse impacts on patients’ financial health, such as home foreclosures, wage garnishment and medical debt.

“The Affordable Care Act includes provisions that would improve transparency around billing and financial assistance available to patients as well as limit what hospitals can charge the neediest patients for care. We look forward to long-awaited final rules from the IRS so the current structure can be improved in a way that better serves the needs of patients and their families that will also work well for hospitals.”


About Community Catalyst

Community Catalyst is a national, non-profit consumer advocacy organization founded in 1997 with the belief that affordable quality health care should be accessible to everyone. We work in partnership with national, state and local organizations, policymakers, and philanthropic foundations to ensure consumer interests are represented wherever important decisions about health and the health system are made: in communities, courtrooms, statehouses and on Capitol Hill. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Read our blog at http://blog.communitycatalyst.org. Follow us on Twitter @healthpolicyhub.