Majority Office — Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 7, 2016
Kristen McDonald - House Majority Office, (850) 717-5129
Sen. Bradley and Rep. Sprowls To File Health Care Price Transparency Legislation
Tallahassee, Fla.–Senator Rob Bradley (R-Fleming Island) and Representative Chris Sprowls (R-Palm Harbor) will file legislation today to improve the transparency of the cost of health care treatments and services.
“Floridians in need of medical services can be in a very vulnerable position. All too often, they can be quickly pressured to agree to a specific procedure or course of treatment and are provided no information on the price or quality of care,” said Senator Bradley. “By implementing these key transparency measures, we can make sure medical facilities are providing important information that will help patients and their families make informed decisions about their health care.”
The legislation will require licensed health care facilities and health professionals to provide valid and understandable information to consumers on prices and quality. Information will be presented in a consumer-friendly manner that allows comparison of national benchmarks to Florida data—including statewide, regional, and specific provider prices.
“In developing this legislation, we listened to our constituents and worked to address their concerns with the current lack of transparency in health care pricing. We also monitored the discussions and ideas of Governor Scott’s Commission on Health Care and Hospital Funding, as they traveled throughout the state visiting hospitals and seeking input from Floridians who have struggled to understand the complex matrix of medical billing,” said Representative Sprowls.
The legislation relies on a model that identifies 70 common service bundles and nearly 20 specific conditions that will help consumers find useful information that can help them make significant health care decisions. Consumers can begin their search by looking for the health problem they have or the procedure they are expecting to receive. This search will yield price averages and price ranges that can be broken into distinct components, such as physician services, tests, procedures, and therapies or rehabilitation.
If consumers want more personalized information, each provider must make personal, written estimates available upon request. Insurers will also be obligated to help their subscribers to calculate cost sharing based on the service bundles and on their personalized estimates, and whether the consumer uses in-network and out-of-network providers.
Florida’s transparency initiative will build on a unique national database of insurance claims and work with that data to translate it into information that is meaningful to consumers. The Agency for Health Care Administration will continue to post outcome data that will enable consumers to consider their choices in light of both price and quality of care.
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