What’s it cost?

January 6, 2013 by  

If you are like me, whether it’s a new car or soap for the dishwasher, you compare prices before buying.  Why don’t we do the same with our health care?

Maybe it’s because the price of health care is so difficult to pin down … and the system is built to keep it that way.  Nevertheless, one journalist recently embraced the challenge. His story is here: “Trying to Find the Cost of Medical Procedure?  Good Luck!”

His advice?  “If you really have to pay attention to price because you have a high-deductible or high-tiered plan, then do a lot of deep breathing. Just be ready for a long struggle that will take some patience.”

It shouldn’t be this difficult.

Surgery Center of Oklahoma doesn’t think it’s difficult at all, in  fact.  The company is posting its prices, promoting quite a competitive bidding war market for health care services across the state – and even across the nation.   This session my legislation,  SB 1115, ensures more transparent prices for the most common health care services in Arizona.

The good news?  The obvious need for transparency is hard to oppose, so SB 1115 is enjoying bi-partisan support and heading for final votes in the House.   Here is the latest press on the bill from ABC-15.  It shouldn’t matter if you’re Republican or Democrat, the ever-escalating cost of health care demands patients be able to shop and compare prices just like they do for any other service or product.

  • End of session update on health care pricing:  Gov. Brewer vetoed SB 1115, stating technical concerns.  Those concerns were addressed and the transparency bill language was amended onto HB 2045 and SIGNED INTO LAW by Gov. Brewer.
  • Arizona consumers will now be able to find out what health care costs upon request when purchasing health care with their own money!

Read Forbes’ piece on the issue - on the demise of last year’s bill.

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