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Ohio Lawmakers Consider an Alternative to Healthcare Cost Transparency Law

Doctor holding an Ipad.

A law that passed unanimously a couple of years ago that would allow patients to find out the costs of medical procedures hasn’t been implemented yet. And as Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, it might never be if a new bill on health care price transparency is approved.

The new law which lets consumers see and compare prices of medical care was supposed to go into effect on Jan. 1, but it didn’t. The Ohio Hospital Association and others sued, preventing its implementation. So Rep. Steve Huffman is proposing a bill that the hospitals support.

“Patients, the hospitals and the physicians want health care transparency in the cost and this will provide it.”

But one of the sponsors of the original law, Rep. Jim Butler, is critical of this proposal. He says the new bill requires Ohioans to ask for an estimate seven days in advance, something he says other states have found doesn’t happen.

“What’s on the law now is you get an upfront estimate of what your costs are going to be without having to ask for it.”

Butler has signed onto the lawsuit against the state to defend the current law.