A proposed regulation published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services asks stakeholders if they believe hospitals, doctors, and other providers should be required to share with their patients the rates they are paid by insurers for services, medical devices, prescription drugs, and more.

Such transparency, on one hand, would give consumers a better sense of the cost of the services they receive and how their insurers reimburse providers for those costs.  Providers, suppliers, and insurers, on the other hand, might be concerned about the loss of what they have come to regard as confidential, proprietary information.

Hospitals are already required to post their standards charges online.  Since so few people pay actual charges, however, the value of such information has been questioned – and it is not clear what the value would be of knowing more about the financial arrangements between providers, suppliers, and insurers.

The request for comment on such a concept is a minor part of the proposed regulation on health care interoperability published by CMS last month.  Comments are due by May 3.

Learn more from CMS’s news release on the proposed regulation and from the proposed regulation itself.