The reality that we are even having to talk about mandating transparency should tell us the problem is more fundamental than what is being portrayed. We should be asking WHY is it so hard to know a price ahead of services. Once we understand the answer to that question, then the solutions become obvious.
Lack of price transparency is one of the biggest problems plaguing American patients and well-intentioned state legislators are now taking a stab legislative fixes.
But is a government mandate the right approach? Dr. Keith Smith, for one, warns that it isn’t. Here’s a recent example of just what can go wrong.
In one state, Ohio, the legislature passed a law now known as Ohio Revised Statute 5162.80, which has misdiagnosed the disease and has prescribed an ineffective and even potentially harmful cure, particularly for patients tied to an “insurance” plan.
On it’s face the bill seems straightforward: doctors and hospitals must give patients good faith estimates for charges and payments. Who could be opposed to that?
The devil is in the details, particularly in this section of the law:
A provider of medical services shall provide in writing before care is rendered: “The amount the health plan issuer intends…
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