President Donald Trump is reportedly ready to release an executive order to mandate the disclosure of healthcare prices in an industry that’s used to conducting its business in private, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The order, which has the force of law, could come as early as next week, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.
According to the news outlet, the order could direct federal agencies to push the healthcare industry for transparency on cost data – and could use the Justice Department to bust up monopolies of hospitals and health-insurance plans for driving up the cost of care.
The White House has been working for months on a strategy to lower healthcare costs by giving consumers and employers data on the discounted and negotiated rates between insurers, hospitals, doctors and other providers, the Journal reported.
Internal administrative disputes over how aggressively to mandate price disclosure have delayed earlier plans for an executive order, the Journal reported.
The administration is also likely to use a coming hospital outpatient rule to require hospitals to disclose their negotiated rates with insurers – a move expected in the summer, the Journal reported.
“In a grocery store, you can get a price check for a can of peas on Aisle 2,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., in introducing legislation that would make insurers tell consumers what their out-of-pocket costs would be for drugs or in-network procedures, the Journal reported.
“Health care is much more difficult, but it ought to be a lot easier for Americans to find out what they will have to pay before they get to a doctor.”