U.S. House Bill Would Require Hospitals to Disclose Charges

Reps. Michael Burgess, MD, (R-Texas) and Gene Green (D-Texas) have introduced legislation that would require hospitals to disclose the cost of inpatient and outpatient services.

Name the Health Care Price Transparency Promotion Act of 2012, the bill would require states to establish laws requiring hospitals to disclose charges for both inpatient and outpatient services, as well as mandate that health insurers provide enrollees in a health plan an estimated out-of-pocket cost for healthcare items and services. The legislation also asks the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to study types of healthcare cost information consumers find helpful in an effort to provide consumers with simple and timely healthcare cost information.

"A patient should be able to know what they are buying and how much they will pay out-of-pocket," Rep. Burgess said in a statement. "Arming patients with cost information is an important step in improving our country's health care system with the focus on the patient."

The American Hospital association supports the bill.

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