Senate passes Huffman bill requiring transparency for healthcare costs


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COLUMBUS – The Senate last week unanimously passed Senate Bill 97, sponsored by State Senator Steve Huffman (R-Tipp City), that would require a healthcare provider and insurer to provide the patient with a cost estimate of a service or procedure that is scheduled at least seven days in advance.

Senate Bill 97 would repeal the current healthcare price transparency provision in the Ohio Revised Code and implement a new system that will be more workable for providers and beneficial to patients.

“Transparency is an essential component for empowering patients to make wise decisions regarding their care,” said Huffman. “As healthcare costs continue to rise and Ohio looks for ways to reduce costs and make meaningful reforms to the industry, we must implement common-sense policies to benefit patients.”

The legislation ensures that all patients: both insured and uninsured, will have the opportunity to request and review what their medical procedures will cost.

This estimate will include the amount the provider expects to receive as payment from the health plan, the amount that the patient will be required to pay and notification that the provider is out of network for the patient, if it applies. If the scheduled service requires a prior authorization, then the responsibility will shift to the insurer to provide a cost estimate.

“As a member of the healthcare industry I understand well that the pricing of services are certainly complex,” Huffman added. “But patients deserve to have information regarding their care readily available to them.”

Senate Bill 97 will now be sent to the Ohio House for further consideration.

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