Hospitals fight price transparency legislation

Hospitals in Wyoming are resisting a piece of potential legislation that would move them closer to price transparency, reported the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

The bill was discussed earlier this month by lawmakers sitting on a joint committee that examines labor and health services. The proposed legislation would require hospitals to disclose their prices and outcome data for common procedures, according to the newspaper.

"Let's have a transparent look at what it costs to provide these services across the state," said Elaine Harvey, a state representative. "And when that transparency happens and hospitals start looking at what other hospitals are doing … they can start looking at their ability to change what their costs are."

However, the decision whether to place the bill on the agenda for next year's legislative session was tabled until next month after the Wyoming Hospital Association objected, the Tribune Eagle noted. WHA representatives said the cost of many procedures are posted on an existing website, wyopricepoint.com.

Only a dozen states have any form of hospital price transparency, reported Kaiser Health News. However, some states such as Colorado, don't tie prices to specific hospitals.

Meanwhile, major companies and labor-backed conglomerates are pushing for more price transparency, according to another Kaiser Health News article. The consortium includes GE, Wal-Mart, Boeing and CalPERS, among others.

To learn more:
- read the Tribune Eagle article
- here's the KHN article on Colorado
- read the KHN article on the price transparency coalition

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