Michigan hospitals would have to publicize chargemasters under proposed legislation

Proposed legislation in Michigan would require hospitals to make their chargemasters publicly available, according to Michigan Radio.

Sen. Joe Hune (R-Hamburg) introduced the bill to increase price transparency. However, some argue that chargemaster prices will be confusing for consumers, as the figure reflects the hospital's charge but not the price negotiated by insurance companies or reduced prices for low-income patients.

David Finkbeiner, senior vice president for advocacy at the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, said chargemasters only show what the hospital charges, not what a patient will pay out of pocket, which varies by insurance plan.

"If this is what the Legislature chooses to enact, we are not opposing the bill," said Mr. Finkbeiner. "The question is: If the goal is to help patients better understand the cost of their healthcare, we're not convinced that this is the mechanism that's going to do that."

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