The House Energy and Commerce, Health Subcommittee combined several bills to increase transparency and competition in the health care industry and passed the measure 27 to 0.
The Transparent Price Act (H.R. 3281), which would increase hospital transparency, was amended to include the following measures:
- H.R. 2679, which would increase PBM transparency, but not by as much as the Senate HELP Committee bill would;
- H.R. 3282 & 3237, which would increase transparency with respect to health care consolidation and ownership;
- H.R. 3248, which would increase diagnostic lab testing transparency; and
- H.R. 3237, which would increase billing transparency.
An HR Policy-opposed bill also passed. The Fairness for Patient Medications Act (H.R. 3285) would increase employer health costs by capping cost-sharing for a drug at the price that the insurer paid in the previous year.
The amended bill moves to the full committee where it may be further amended before moving to the House floor for a vote. It is unclear when the full committee will consider the bill.
Separately, the FTC announced it is expanding its PBM inquiry to two group purchasing organizations (also called rebate aggregators) that negotiate drug rebates on behalf of other PBMs.