In 2015, Ohio State Rep. Jim Butler introduced a price transparency bill that would require medical organizations to give more information about their pricing. Many people go to a doctor’s office or hospital for routine procedures only to find out their medical bills were much more expensive than they thought. Research has found that even just within the state, pregnancy ultrasounds can cost up to three times more in Cleveland than they do in surrounding Canton. This veil that medical institutions place on healthcare costs causes people in need to pay more than they should. Across the country, legislature is being introduced to help with pricing disclosure.
Why are you paying so much? The reason that trips to the hospital are so high is often because you are paying facility fees which cover the cost of having a fully staffed hospital that is open 24/7, which is very expensive. Hospitals are buying freestanding medical offices and are still charging patients hospital fees. Statistics show that the number of independently owned medical offices is decreasing and hospital-owned medical offices are increasing. This means that getting the same treatment at an office owned by an independent doctor could be much less than a medical office owned by a hospital. This is causing a dramatic increase in the cost of healthcare as well as the number of bankruptcy filings due to medical debt.
Backlash from the Medical Industry
Opponents of medical price disclosure say that it will cause too much bureaucratic delay in being able to start treatment. In Ohio, the medical industry has been trying to fight price disclosure and delay the court proceedings of the bill introduced by Jim Butler. Politicians and state law makers are trying to make prices clearer for patients in a time when medical prices are skyrocketing and insurance deductibles are increasing. The option to shop around for healthcare should be your right and transparency could be right around the corner.
Ohio workers’ comp attorneys at Larrimer and Larrimer LLC are here to help you figure out if you are getting the right treatment for your work-related injuries.