What to Know About American Patients First Initiative

Learn more about the Trump administration’s initiative to regulate prescription drug costs and improve healthcare transparency.

In 2018, the Trump administration began exploring new strategies to regulate prescription drug costs and improve healthcare transparency.  This initiative, titled American Patients First, finally saw some progress when new regulations were passed in May of this year.  These regulations were passed with the intent of improving the transparency of healthcare pricing.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the regulations require drug companies to disclose the list price of prescription drugs on their television advertisements.  With this new rule, HHS is targeting commonly advertised drugs that can run from hundreds to thousands of dollars for a typical month’s dosage.  All Medicare or Medicaid prescription drugs that cost $35 or more per month must disclose their price to patients.  However, drugs under the $35 limit are unaffected by the new regulations.

President Trump also recently gave a speech in which he criticized the practice of surprise medical billing.  In his speech, the President outlined his plan for combatting this major healthcare issue.  The main regulatory points of his plan included patients not being responsible for out-of-network costs in emergency situations, the prohibition of balanced billing for emergency care, the patient’s right to upfront billing and an itemized list of out-of-pocket expenses for non-emergency services, and patient protection against surprise bills from out-of-network providers they did not select.

Following President Trump’s speech, the Senate passed the Lower Health Care Costs Act.  This Act consists of the following main goals:

  • To address surprise medical bills
  • To lower the cost of prescription drugs
  • To improve healthcare transparency
  • To improve public health
  • To improve the exchange of health information

This is what you need to know about American Patients First and the Trump administration’s attempts to regulate prescription drug costs and improve healthcare transparency.  Want to learn more about the legislation affecting healthcare costs and how these regulations affect your insurance costs?  Then contact the experts at CIA Insurance and Risk Management for the answers you need today.

Post written by Janelle Morck, Vice President | Employee Benefits Risk Management (ERM)

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