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Health Care Price Transparency Goes Back Into Debate, Despite Law


A law that passed unanimously a couple of years ago that would allow patients to find out the costs of medical procedures hasn’t been implemented yet. And it might never be if a new bill on health care price transparency is approved.

The new law which lets consumers see and compare prices of medical care was supposed to go into effect on January 1 but it didn’t. The Ohio Hospital Association and others filed a lawsuit, preventing the law’s implementation. So Representative Steve Huffman is proposing a bill that the hospitals support.

“Patients, the hospitals and the physicians want health care transparency in the cost and this will provide it,” Huffman said.

But one of the sponsors of the original law, Rep. Jim Butler, is critical of this proposal. He says the new bill requires Ohioans to ask for an estimate seven days in advance, something he said other states have found doesn’t happen.

“What’s on the law now is you get an upfront estimate of what your costs are going to be without having to ask for it,” Butler said.

Butler has signed onto the lawsuit against the state to defend the current law.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.