Hospital price transparency and 2019 PA legislative priorities
What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, January 10, 2019:
Healthcare is expensive. That we know. Unlike most other expenses in our lives, we almost never know what a medical procedure or treatment cost. Most patients don’t ask their doctor or healthcare provider’s office how much we would pay for treatment before it’s done. That is especially true if the patient has insurance.
The fact is the prices for even the same treatments and procedures vary — sometimes greatly — from provider-to-provider.
Last year the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services enacted a rule requiring hospitals to make public their standard charges for the procedures and services that they provide.
That rule went into effect in January.
Proponents see the publication of the lists as a first step toward price transparency. However, health systems say those price lists aren’t a good way for people to shop around for services.
Appearing on Thursday’s Smart Talk to discuss the effect of the regulation is WITF’s Transforming Health reporter Brett Sholtis.
Also, Katie Meyer is WITF’s Capitol bureau chief and she joins us on Smart Talk to discuss the new legislative session and the priorities ahead for state lawmakers.
Smart Talk is a lively and thoughtful conversation on a wide range of issues and ideas relevant to Central Pennsylvanians.