Trio of Bills Targeting Hospital Pricing Introduced
Assembly member Dario Frommer (D-Glendale) recently introduced a series of bills that would require hospitals to "tell patients the price of everything from aspirin to X-rays," the Sacramento Bee reports.
- The first bill (AB 1627) would require hospitals to make public their "chargemasters," which are lists of sticker prices for medical procedures. The confidential lists are used to determine how much hospitals charge health plans and patients for care.
- The second bill (AB 1628) would require hospitals to charge patients no more than the copayment laid out in patients' health plan contracts when health plans and hospitals are in dispute over a payment. The bill also would require hospitals to tell patients the rates health plans pay for specific medical treatments, which is information that is part of confidential reimbursement contracts agreed upon by hospitals and health plans.
- The third bill (AB 1629) would require hospitals to report more information on the quality of patient care and the cost of medical treatments to the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. The proposal does not specify what additional quality and cost data would be reported.