D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has sent a letter to 11 District hospitals to ensure they’re following federal regulations about transparent medical prices.
“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. 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,” Racine said in a statement.
“Especially as health care costs continue to rise and news reports have detailed some hospitals across the country purposely hiding prices from consumers, it is essential for our hospitals to be clear and direct about their costs.”
Racine requested the hospitals — which were not identified in a news release — detail how they’re following the new federal regulations, which require hospitals to disclose and display price lists online that people can easily find and navigate.
The attorney general said the letters were spurred by news reports that hospitals around the country, including D.C., were hiding pricing information from web searches and their websites.
Racine’s letter points out that, if hospitals aren’t following the rules, they could be violating D.C.’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act, under which “it is illegal to violate other laws or regulations in the context of consumer transactions.”