2023: A Landmark Year for Healthcare Price Transparency and Valuation of Reasonableness of Past Medical Expenses

The year 2023 stands out in healthcare price transparency, notably due to pivotal policy changes and compliance directives. These developments are instrumental for legal professionals, particularly in evaluating the usual, customary, and reasonable value of medical services in healthcare-related litigation.

Major Developments:

CMS's Enhanced Focus on Part B and D Drugs and MRF Formatting:

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made significant strides in increasing transparency, particularly for Part B and D drugs. This includes the implementation of Machine-Readable Files (MRF) formatting, emphasizing the government’s commitment to improving transparency, enforcement, and compliance in healthcare pricing​​.

Rising Compliance in Hospital and Payer Price Reporting:

Over 90% of hospitals now post MRFs of price information, and more than 83% include substantial amounts of negotiated rates. This is a considerable increase compared to previous years, reflecting a growing trend towards transparency in healthcare pricing​​.

CMS's Final Rule for Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans:

The CMS final rule for Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, effective from 2024, is set to reduce out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs for beneficiaries. This rule includes a policy that mandates Part D plans to pass along pharmacy price concessions at the point of sale, thus enhancing transparency and affordability in drug pricing.

The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act:

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act, seeking to codify price transparency reporting across healthcare entities. This Act is a significant step towards making healthcare pricing more transparent and accessible, impacting the legal sector’s approach to cases involving medical costs.

Implications for the Legal Sector:

The advancements in healthcare price transparency in 2023 have crucial implications for legal professionals. The increased availability of detailed pricing data aids in the accurate assessment of healthcare costs in litigation. Furthermore, the legislative developments underscore the importance of staying informed and adaptable in a rapidly evolving healthcare finance landscape.


With the advent of comprehensive price transparency, legal professionals now have a clearer benchmark for determining the usual, customary, and reasonable value of past medical charges. The availability of detailed pricing data, including the rates for various medical services and procedures, aids in assessing the usual, customary and reasonable value of medical services provided.

For legal professionals, the evolving landscape of healthcare finance, illuminated by increased price transparency, presents both challenges and opportunities. Understanding these changes is crucial for effective client representation, particularly in accurately assessing and arguing for fair medical cost recovery in injury litigation.

The advancements in healthcare price transparency in 2023 have marked a significant shift in how medical costs are evaluated in the legal arena. For professionals involved in healthcare-related legal practices, comprehending these changes is essential for effectively advocating for their clients and navigating the complexities of healthcare costs and reimbursements.

Michael Judkins

Michael is an avid medical billing expert and team member of Abacus Analytics and focuses on stories and articles in and around the medical billing industry.

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