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

By Kaiser Health News  
   July 25, 2017

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. Opposition has been formidable, led by the goliath Ohio Hospital Association.

This article first appeared July 25, 2017 on Kaiser Health News.

By Rachel Bluth

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.

Kaiser Health News is a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.


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