The White House is expected to unveil its long-awaited transparency policy on Friday to force the healthcare industry to do a better job of offering clear prices to patients.

The policy will put the administration on a collision course with hospitals and insurers who say they plan to mount a legal challenge.

It is understood that the White House will publish a regulation setting out its new policy. “It’s going to be not only health insurance transparency, but it will also be hospital billing transparency,” said a senior administration official.

Previous proposals have attracted the opposition of insurers and hospitals who claim it could create confusion and fuel anti-competitive behavior among providers. But campaigners for greater transparency say it will drive down prices and help patients avoid surprise bills.

Cynthia Fisher, of Patient Rights Advocate, said she was delighted that the White House was ready to act.