House Passed the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Jan 3, 2024
On December 11, 2023, the House of Representatives passed the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act, H.R. 5378. The bill, approved by a vote of 320-71 (1 voting present and 41 not voting), would extend funding for several primary care and healthcare workforce programs, codify transparency rules for pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and providers, and require some “site-neutral” hospital-related payments. Notably, the bill would extend funding for the Community Health Center Fund, the National Health Service Corps, and the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program. The package is unlikely to pass in its current form in the Senate. The Senate has various competing bills on these topics, particularly aimed at addressing drug costs and extending funding for health care programs. These bills include Senator Bernie Sander’s (I-VT) bill, the Bipartisan Primary Care and Health Workforce Act (S. 2840); Senator Bill Cassidy’s (R-LA) bill, the Community Health Care Reauthorization Act (S. 2308); and Ron Wyden (D-OR)’s bill, the Better Mental Health Care, Lower-Cost Drugs, and Extenders Act of 2023 (S.3430). Congress is likely to pass an extension of funding for existing programs by January 19, 2024, when funding for many of these programs will expire. The remaining policies may be considered in a future package by February 2, 2024, which is when funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) expires, or during the Congressional lame duck session at the end of 2024. 

The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act is available here.

Impact on General Dentistry: The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act would increase transparency across the health care system and avert cuts to existing health care programs that promote access to primary care services, including dental care. The House and Senate will need to negotiate a package to extend these health programs by January 19, 2024, and continue funding HHS by February 2, 2024.