2020 may have been a dumpster fire, but it sure did end well. After being soundly beaten at the federal district level, the American Hospital Association took their jihad against honest prices for patients and employers (aka AHA v. Azar) to the appellate level. Oral arguments a few months ago didn’t go well, as judges accused them of outright lying to patients with their recourse to chargemaster rates. Today, three Democrat judges of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals laughed their way through a judicial smackdown of a ruling against AHA in favor of the Trump price transparency rule requiring hospitals to publicly post all their prices – including negotiated rates with insurers and discounted cash prices for the uninsured.
The most telling line comes toward the end. After methodically and mercilessly refuting most of the AHA’s arguments, the opinion states, “[t]he Association’s remaining arguments are equally without merit.” And then Judge Tatel takes down the rest of their arguments.
The rule is effective January 1, 2021. Patients and employers win!