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Price Transparency In Medicine Faces Stiff Opposition — From Hospitals And Doctors


“The hospitals complain that they cannot publish their prices because they would have to ask the insurer in order to state the price up front. What other industry thinks like that? “How much is this dress?” Answer, “What credit card are you using?” Forget the insurer. What is the best CASH, check or credit card price? ” Alieta Eck, MD For Real Health Care Reform

By Rachel Bluth July 25, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two years after it passed unanimously in Ohio’s state Legislature, a law meant to inform patients what health care procedures will cost is in a state of suspended animation.

One of the most stringent in a group of similar state laws being proposed across the country, Ohio’s Healthcare Price Transparency Law stipulated that providers had to give patients a “good faith” estimate of what non-emergency services would cost individuals after insurance before they commenced treatment.

But the law didn’t go into force on Jan. 1 as scheduled. And its troubled odyssey illustrates the political and business forces opposing a common-sense but controversial solution to rein in high health care costs for patients: Let patients see prices.

Many patient advocates say such transparency would be helpful for patients, allowing them to shop around for some services to hold down out-of-pocket costs, as well as adjust their household budgets for upcoming health-related outlays at a time of high-deductible plans.