Connecticut AG Asks for Hospital Facility Fee Information

Scrutiny of hospital facility fees has intensified in Connecticut, as the attorney general has asked state hospitals to provide facility fee information as well as detailed descriptions of their recent transactions.

Attorney General George Jepsen sent a letter to Connecticut hospital executives looking for several pieces of information:

•    The name, address, specialty type and contact information for each off-campus, hospital-based provider that charges a facility fee.

•    The name and address of each off-campus, hospital-based provider that does not charge a facility fee — and why it does not charge a facility fee.

•    For every provider that does charge a facility fee, hospitals must submit information about whether the provider is owned, affiliated or part of a joint venture with the hospital and whether it discloses facility fee information to patients.

Hospitals and health systems have ramped up acquisitions of independent physician practices, freestanding ambulatory surgery centers and urgent care centers. Mr. Jepsen wrote that in addition to the higher costs of care associated with hospital-owned outpatient settings, he was "troubled" by reports that some acquired entities do not disclose facility fee information to their patients.

The letter comes roughly one month after he asked patients to submit complaints if their healthcare provider unexpectedly billed them for a facility fee.

"In order to understand the full scope of the issues surrounding practice acquisition and facility fees, I am urging Connecticut's hospitals to cooperate with this request for information," Mr. Jepsen said. "This information will assist me in crafting legislative proposals to ensure meaningful transparency for consumers concerning facility fees.  More broadly, it will assist me in monitoring and protecting competition in the fast-evolving healthcare market."

More Articles on Hospitals and Facility Fees:
Connecticut AG Scrutinizes Hospital Facility Fees
Pennsylvania Bill Would Require Hospitals Disclose Facility Fees
Mercy Regional Medical Center in Ohio Ditches Facility Fees

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