Northside Hospital was fined more than $1 million for failing to post prices for its services on its website.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) imposed the penalties on Northside Hospital Atlanta ($883,180) and Northside Hospital Cherokee ($214,320) in letters issued on June 2 and June 9 respectively.
These are the first fines issued since a federal law requiring hospital price transparency took effect in January 2021, according to NBC News.
CMS sent notices to Robert Quattrochi, president and CEO of Northside Hospital, and William Hayes, CEO of Northside Hospital Cherokee.
“Northside Hospital Atlanta is noncompliant with the price transparency requirements for hospitals to make standard charges public,” said the certified letter from John C. Pilotte, director of the Performance-Based Payment Policy Group for CMS.
Northside Hospital did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The hospitals will have 60 days to pay the fine. They also have the right to appeal by requesting a hearing before a judge with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Hospitals must make public the standard charges for each location, CMS said. These must be made with a public, online, machine-readable file with a list of all standard charges for items and services, including supplies, room and board, use of the facility and facility fees.
The hospitals also must make available a consumer-friendly list of standard charges for a limited set of shoppable services in pricing files or a price estimator tool, the letters said.
CMS made a technical assistance call to Northside on Jan. 11. “During this call, the designated representative for Northside Hospital Atlanta confirmed that the previous violations had not been corrected and, in fact, the hospital system had intentionally removed all previously posted pricing files,” Pilotte’s letter said.
The two hospitals have not posted the required files as of June 2 and June 9, the letter said.