Rep. Harshbarger's Medicare Transparency Act Advances Out of Committee

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger’s Medicare transparency bill H. R. 3282, the Promoting Transparency and Healthy Competition in Medicare Act, advanced out of the Energy and Commerce Committee as a component of the PATIENT Act. The bipartisan legislation will require public reporting of data from healthcare entities with common ownership interests within the Medicare program, such as insurers that own pharmacies, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), or healthcare providers. 

This legislation would require increased data reporting and transparency in Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) and Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage) plans, regarding how these common ownership interests interact with each other, in comparison to their interactions with independent pharmacies, physicians, or other healthcare entities that are not owned by insurance companies or PBMs.

The Promoting Transparency and Healthy Competition in Medicare Act has bipartisan support, with Representatives Kim Schrier (D-WA), Gus Bilirakies (R-FL), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) co-sponsoring the legislation. 

“When an insurance company owns the doctor you see, the pharmacy you visit, and the PBM that sets the price you pay, patients will have legitimate questions,” said Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger. “In order to ensure Medicare patients receive quality care at an affordable price, we must have transparency from healthcare entities that have consolidated every aspect of healthcare delivery under their umbrellas. I am proud to introduce legislation that will shed light on the impact vertical integration has on patient care and rapidly rising healthcare costs.” 

Vertical integration refers to a situation in which one company acquires another, in order to give it greater control over stages of its supply or distribution chain. 

The full text of the bill can be found here.

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