June 24 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday afternoon aimed at making patients more aware of their healthcare costs earlier in the treatment process.
The Improving Price and Quality Transparency in Healthcare requires that hospitals and insurance companies to tell patients their rates for medical services and what patients will be expected to pay out of pocket prior to undergoing a procedure. The order also directs the Treasury Department to make health savings accounts available to pay for more healthcare costs.
"This is a big action," Trump said during the signing at the White House. "This is bigger than anything we've done in this particular realm."
He said the action should cause healthcare-related prices to decrease as transparency increases.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said the executive order "will go down as one of the most significant steps in the long history of American healthcare reform."
The order must first undergo a rule-making process before being put into effect.
The announcement is the latest in a campaign by the Trump administration to reduce the costs of healthcare for patients and to make those costs more transparent.
In May, Azar announced a new rule to require pharmaceutical companies to reveal the prices of drugs they advertise in television ads.
"The president has a clear vision for American healthcare," Azar said. "Today, the president is delivering on that historic promise."