June 24, 2019 / 2:21 PM / 25 days ago

Trump to order hospitals to be transparent about healthcare costs

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump listens to questions from reporters during a meeting with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

(Reuters) - President Donald Trump will sign an executive order aimed at requiring hospitals to be more transparent about prices before charging patients for healthcare services, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said on Monday.

The executive order will direct HHS to issue a rule that will mandate hospitals to disclose in an “easy-to-read, patient-friendly format” what prices patients and insurers will actually end up paying, Azar said.

The order will ultimately require healthcare providers and insurers to provide patients with information about the out-of-pocket costs they’ll face before they receive healthcare services, he said.

Senior administration officials said on Monday that the specifics regarding the level of detail that hospitals will be required to provide are to be determined during a forthcoming rule-making process.

(This story has been corrected to remove quotes attributed to senior officials in paragraphs five and six)

Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva

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