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June 14, 2024

Ohio Senate passes hospital price transparency bill

The Ohio Senate voted Wednesday to make hospitals publish the cost of their services, a plan that critics say doesn't guarantee enough transparency for patients (Source: “Ohio Senate passes hospital price transparency bill. Critics say it's not enough,” Columbus Dispatch, June 11).
The Senate passed a modified version of House Bill 49, which aims to require hospitals to publish a list of standard prices. Advocates say this would allow patients to shop around and know the cost of the procedure they need ahead of time.
The original version, which cleared the House last year with bipartisan support, would allow patients to submit a complaint to the Ohio Department of Health if hospitals don't disclose prices. The Senate bill removed that language and would allow hospitals to publish estimates, instead of actual prices. Senators also reduced the penalties for hospitals that violate the rules. The Ohio Hospital Association said the changes align the bill more closely with federal rules for price transparency.
The bill will now be sent back to the House or to a conference committee for further changes to work out the differences.