California Healthcare Workers Seek to Limit Hospital Pricing

California healthcare workers have launched a statewide signature-gathering campaign to put legislation limiting hospital charges on the ballot this November.

The initiative, titled the Fair Healthcare Pricing Act of 2014, would prohibit hospitals from setting prices more than 25 percent higher than the actual cost of care, according to a news release. SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West needs to gather and submit approximately 505,000 signatures from registered California voters by mid-April to get the proposal on the ballot.

Six state legislators from the Bay Area have endorsed the initiative, including Sens. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose), and Assemblymembers Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco), Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) and Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont).

During the past year or so, scrutiny surrounding hospital charges and prices has intensified. A July 2012 CALPRIG Education Fund report found some California hospitals charged as much as 2.7 times more than other hospitals for the same surgeries.Additionally,about month ago, a 20-year-old man's $55,000 bill for an appendectomy performed at Sutter General Hospital in Sacramento, Calif., went viral after he posted the paperwork online.

More Articles on Hospital Charges:
The Cost of Price Transparency
Creating the Best Healthcare Consumers: Why Educating Patients About Cost Benefits Everyone
Study: Cost for Baby Delivery in Hospitals Varies From $3k to $37k 

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