The Journal Gazette
Thursday, April 29, 2021 1:00 am

Transparent costs

Bill requires procedure price lists from hospitals

Justin Busch

Last session, the General Assembly passed legislation that requires Indiana hospitals to create a price disclosure list in a united effort to help lower the costs of hospital care.

As of today, Hoosierscontinue to pay the fourth-highest prices in the country.

That's why this session I authored Senate Enrolled Act 325, which would align Indiana law with federal regulations, giving Hoosiers greater access to pricing information as they make choices about their health care.

This bipartisan legislation requires large, nonprofit hospitals to hold an annual public forum to receive community feedback about pricing and performance. There is also language in the bill that requires insurers to host annual meetings to discuss ongoing efforts to lower premiums.

 In addition, a hospital price disclosure list, included in SEA 325, would increase the number of common health care services and procedures that a hospital is required to post publicly.

 Although this legislation is a monumental step in the right direction in creating a more transparent health care system in Indiana, we still have work left to do.

 As of today, nonprofit hospitals do not have the same duties to disclose financial information that for-profit hospitals do.

An annual meeting requirement facilitates discussion between local communities and the most expensive hospital systems in the state.

The bottom line is that the more information available to the public about pricing, the closer we will get to full transparency.

 SEA 325 passed the Senate and House unanimously. As of Wednesday, it was awaiting approval by Gov. Eric Holcomb.

Justin Busch, a Republican, represents District 16 in the Indiana Senate.

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