Legislature(2003 - 2004)

04/05/2004 02:08 PM HES

Audio Topic
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
           SB 222-MEDICAL PATIENT BILLING DISCLOSURES                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
The committee took up SB 222.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON   introduced  SB  222,   saying  that   hospitals  in                                                              
particular, have  a multi-tiered billing  system, and if  a person                                                              
is a self-payor,  he/she pays 100 percent while  the larger third-                                                              
party  payers negotiate  discounts  at a  minimum  of 30  percent.                                                              
This rewards  irresponsible behavior  and encourages folks  to not                                                              
take  responsibility   for  their   own  healthcare;   those  with                                                              
Medicaid/Medicare  often  do  not  pay anything.    Every  medical                                                              
hospital in  the nation has  a number of  services for  which they                                                              
do  not  recover cost,  and  those  costs  gets shifted  to  those                                                              
paying their  own bills.   SB  222 requires,  if state  funding is                                                              
received,  that  the  discount   rates  be  published.    It  also                                                              
requires  hospitals to  reveal information  such as  "how much  of                                                              
your bill  was a  subsidy for  indigent people,  with the  goal in                                                              
mind that you'd be  able to use that as a charitable  gift on your                                                              
income tax."                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR  DYSON referred  to  a  proposed committee  substitute  (CS)                                                              
pertaining  to supplies not  exceeding reasonable  costs  over the                                                              
street value,  with the  desire being to  "shine some  daylight on                                                              
the processes that are going on."                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR DYSON announced that SB 222 would be held in committee for                                                                
future consideration.                                                                                                           

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