Fla. governor says hospital transparency bill 'doesn't go far enough'

Florida Gov. Rick Scott criticized a bill aimed at addressing one of his top priorities: price transparency at hospitals.

The transparency bills, filed last week by Sen. Rob Bradley (R-Fla.) and Rep. Chris Sprowls (R-Fla.), would require hospitals to submit claims data to the state and provide patients with estimated prices for procedures.

The bills impose fines on hospitals that fail to provide price information, but Gov. Scott believes hospitals that overcharge patients warrant criminal penalties, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

"Price gouging is a morally reprehensible practice that victimizes individuals in their most vulnerable moments," said Mary Vickers, a budget analyst from the governor's office. "In no scenario is price gouging more frequent, more extreme or more reprehensible than when a patient is at a hospital."

However, Sen. Bradley said the Senate may find criminal penalties for price gouging too extreme.

"In the Senate, the idea of creating new crimes...is really not something that we're focused on," Sen. Bradley told the Orlando Sentinel.

As part of his political agenda for the year, Gov. Scott aims to achieve a $1 billion tax cut and impose harsh sanctions on hospital's charging patients unconscionable amounts, according to the article. 

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