Hospital Price Transparency Obligation Passes First Vote at Texas House

Imagine going to buy a house and being told how much it will cost for the first time after work. Patients in Texas hospitals face this problem every day, 87th The legislature is trying to improve it.

The law, which requires hospitals to list actual prices rather than estimated ranges, passed the Texas House significantly on Wednesday. That bill, Senate Bill (SB) 1137, Already passed the Senate and is one of the House Healthcare Priority..

Under SB 1137, hospitals need to maintain a list of all standard rates, make them easily accessible to the general public, and make them free of charge. The price disclosure must include the total price, the lowest and highest negotiated rates, the discounted cash price, and the insurance negotiated rate.

“Healthcare transparency is very important because healthcare is the only sector in our economy where we don’t know what it will cost before we buy,” Oliverson said. Texan After the first floor vote.

“It would be like if you were buying a car and had to drive it for 30 days before telling you how much it would cost — you would never agree with it. Would, but that’s what people do in health care every day. “

In addition, prices should be updated at least annually and maintained on a location-by-location basis. That is, pricing and related disclosures can vary from location to location within the comprehensive hospital system.

If found to be non-compliant, the hospital may face administrative sanctions for the amount determined by the Health and Welfare Committee.

Unlike almost all other products and services, inpatients are not provided with an explicit cost of the procedure in advance. Instead, an estimated range is given.

For example, if an uninsured patient receives a knee scope without being hospitalized overnight at the Sunnyvale Medical Center in Baylor Scott and White. cost Somewhere between $ 21,988 and $ 70,798. The same procedure at the Dallas Uptown location in the hospital ranges from $ 7,397 to $ 32,908.

Parity is not a staple of healthcare.

But to some extent it makes sense to change the price. Because each patient is different, the ancillary services associated with first-line treatment can vary in final cost with margins. The cost of running a medical center in different parts of the state varies from person to person. It all affects the final price.

Proponents of price transparency say this is the reason for disclosing the actual price. This was of paramount importance to the Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services. issued A regulatory rule that requires hospitals to provide customers with actual prices in advance or to pay fines if they fail to comply.

The law has a gradual fine system based on the total income of each facility.

The order was, among other things, challenged in court by the American Hospital Association. Plaintiffs argued that the rule was expensive and cumbersome to follow.

After all, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals Decided In favor of this rule, he said, “requiring hospitals to disclose prices before providing services definitely qualifies as a” traditional or normal economic regulation of commercial activity. “

But since then, many hospitals have opted to simply pay fines rather than offer prices. This is strikingly similar to what many Americans did when the Obamacare registration obligation came into effect.

Analysis by Health Affairs found Sixty-five percent of the top hospital samples across the country were somehow non-compliant.

Currently, the federal government fines non-compliant hospitals for $ 300 per day, which is not exorbitant. Advocates of price transparency are calling on the Department of Health and Human Services to raise the fine to $ 300 per bed for violations.

This is the main dilemma that the legislature must take the lead. This is a way to ensure compliance.

Oliverson pointed out that the hierarchical system emphasizes penalties for the conglomerates of large non-profit hospitals, the most consistent violators of this rule. For the largest hospitals with annual revenues of $ 100 million or more, the penalty for violations is $ 1,000 per day.

This far exceeds the current federal penalties that are mostly ignored.

Oliverson said:[Price transparency] It’s the only thing we can do to reduce medical costs. “

The bill must be passed again at the third reading before it is sent to the governor — and it seems likely to do so with zero opposition to flowering in the house.

Hospital Price Transparency Obligation Passes First Vote at Texas House

Source link Hospital Price Transparency Obligation Passes First Vote at Texas House

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