Florida governor invites examples of hospital 'price gouging'

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has asked residents of his state to send him examples of "price gouging" at Florida hospitals, according to a Palm Beach Post report.

"In order to better understand the hardship placed on Floridians when they are presented with inflated hospital bills, we are asking those who believe they are a victim of hospital price gouging to share their stories with our Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding," Gov. Scott said in a statement. "We want to hear directly from Floridians who have suffered from this unfair practice so we can better empower patients to fight against price gouging at Florida hospitals."

The president of the Florida Hospital Association, Bruce Rueben, is calling for a broader approach to address the issue, according to the report.

"The best way to truly empower patients, and to understand what drives costs, is to bring everyone in the healthcare continuum to the table," he said. "By utilizing data from all healthcare claims, a comprehensive database would provide meaningful information about healthcare quality, costs and access."

With a $400 million shortfall looming in healthcare funding, Gov. Scott is also proposing more than $673 million in tax cuts for next year's budget. Banking partly on Florida hospitals lowering their costs, Gov. Scott said he is confident lawmakers will find a way to balance the books, according to a WJCT report.

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