Bill Aims To Boost Transparency of Health Care Cost Information

TOPIC ALERT:

Last week, two House lawmakers introduced a bill (HR 1326) that aims to promote greater transparency about health care costs, Health Data Management reports.

Bill Details

Reps. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) and Gene Green (D-Texas) are sponsoring the legislation, called the Health Care Price Transparency Promotion Act of 2013. The two lawmakers introduced a similar bill (HR 5800) in May 2012, but it did not advance.

Like last year's measure, HR 1326 would require:

  • States to establish laws mandating that hospitals publicly disclose the cost of various services;
  • Health insurers to provide consumers with information about estimated out-of-pocket costs for health care products and services (Goedert, Health Data Management, 3/26); and
  • The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to identify the types of health care cost data that consumers find beneficial (AHA News, 3/26).

Support From AHA

The American Hospital Association has expressed support for HR 1326, saying it builds on measures already in place in 43 states (Health Data Management, 3/26).

AHA President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock in a statement said that AHA supports the bill's requirement that insurers "participate in the disclosure process by providing information on estimated out-of-pocket costs for health care services, which is often the most valuable information for insured patients" (AHA News, 3/26).


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