May 21, 2019

Cassidy, Bennet Introduce Legislation to End Gag Clauses Preventing Patients from Knowing Price of Health Procedures

WASHINGTON–U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. and Michael Bennet (D-CO) today introduced the Know the Price Act, legislation to end the use of gag clauses in contracts between health care providers and insurers that are used to restrict a patient’s access to price information.

Currently, some health care providers use clauses within contracts to restrict or prevent insurance plans from making the price of health procedures available to patients. This anti-competitive practice can lead to patients spending more on their health care.

“Patients should have the power to know the price of a procedure before they receive it,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Getting rid of gag clauses and introducing price transparency is essential to lower the cost of health care.”

“Increasing transparency is one of the most important steps we can take to fix our health care system. Patients should be guaranteed the option to access cost and quality data for their health care services and providers,” Senator Bennet said. “Hospitals in Colorado have taken a lead in increasing transparency for their patients, and our bill will build on their momentum by helping ensure that contracts between plans and providers do not prevent patients from accessing necessary tools to make informed health care decisions.”

Last year, President Trump signed into law two pieces of legislation introduced by Cassidy to ban pharmacy gag clauses that forbid pharmacists from proactively telling consumers if their prescription would cost less if they paid for it in cash rather than using their insurance plan, causing patients to needlessly overpay for their prescriptions.