WI legislator plans health pricing disclosure law

A Wisconsin legislator is planning to introduce a state bill next month which would require providers and health plans to give patients charge information. Under the terms of the bill, backed by Sen. Jim Sullivan (D), providers would be required to provide a list of prices for their 50 most-frequently performed procedures upon consumer request. The list, which would be free to patients, would be considered a good-faith estimate of pricing rather than a binding estimate. The bill would also require health plans to disclose the amount they would pay for a given procedure, and specify what a patient's out of pocket costs would be.

Look for legislation of this type to pop up in other statehouses. Given current health reform trends, it seems unlikely that legislators will be satisfied with voluntary industry efforts to provide pricing transparency.

To learn more about the pricing bill:
- read this article from The Business Journal of Milwaukee

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