Better Solutions for Healthcare

Politico: Education and the Workforce leaders unveil health care package


House Education and Workforce Chair Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and ranking member Bobby Scott (D-Va.) on Tuesday unveiled a bipartisan health care package of four bills focused on transparency in health care, including for hospitals and pharmacy benefit managers.

The legislation, which the committee is set to mark up Wednesday morning, is one of many bipartisan attempts from lawmakers in the House and Senate to rein in health care costs.

“For too long, patients have been left in the dark, unable to make informed health care decisions which has left them paying higher costs,” Foxx said in a statement.

PBMs, which negotiate discounts with drugmakers and decide which medicines plans will cover, are a key focus of the panel’s package and have been under the microscope on Capitol Hill.

The meatiest bill within the package, authored by health subcommittee chair Bob Good (R-Va.) and subcommittee ranking member Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.) would mandate sweeping transparency requirements, codifying the rules that require hospitals and insurance companies to disclose the prices of their services and establishing new disclosures for PBMs, among other things.

What else is in the package: It also includes a bill requiring PBMs to disclose compensation to plan fiduciaries and another that would ensure that fiduciaries aren’t barred from getting cost or quality-of-care information about their plan.

Foxx and Scott have also introduced the Transparency in Billing Act that mandates insurers only pay for claims from hospitals that have “accurate billing practices,” meaning they have submitted the unique health identifier for the department where the care is provided.