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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Gov. Scott's latest hospital target: Posting cost data online



Gov. Rick Scott is calling for legislation that would require hospitals to post their prices and financial details online, the latest in his crusade against “unfairly high hospital costs.”

In a statement, Scott said that he hopes to work with the Legislature in their session that begins in January to pass reforms aimed at transparency.

“I look forward to working with the Legislature in the upcoming session to make reforms that will allow patients to see what revenues hospitals are collecting and what they are billing patients for medical procedures,” he said. “With our proposed reforms, patients who believe their hospital bills are unconscionably high will have the ability to ask for a third-party review of their charges.”

The announcement came Monday afternoon just as the governor’s Commission on Health Care and Hospital Funding was set to meet in Tampa. A key item on the agenda: transparency from hospitals.

Since the commission’s first meeting in May, board members and the governor have demanded financial details from hospitals, some of which have been reluctant to disclose information or to repackage data they report to the state already.

The reforms appear aimed at putting more information out publicly, including updating state law governing the database. At the hospital commission meeting, members heard from Andrea Caballero from the organization Catalyst for Payment Reform, which puts out a cost transparency report card every year. Florida is one of 45 states to earn an “F” in 2015.

“In order to be effective, price transparency initiatives must provide accessible and actionable information to decision-makers in a timely manner,” the report card says. “While legal barriers hindered initial efforts to promote price transparency, states can address many of these barriers through legislation and litigation.”

[Last modified: Monday, September 28, 2015 2:00pm]


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