Will Ohio make hospitals publish cost estimates for services? Senate could vote this week

A bill to make hospitals publish the cost of their services could get a Senate vote on Wednesday.
A bill to make hospitals publish the cost of their services could get a Senate vote on Wednesday.

A bill to make hospitals publish the cost of their services could get a Senate vote on Wednesday.

Rep. Ron Ferguson, R- Wintersville, and Rep. Tim Barhost, R-Fort Loramie, sponsored the bill which originally would have required hospitals to publish a list of standard prices. Advocates say it would allow patients to shop around and know the cost of the procedure they need ahead of time.

The House passed the bill with language allowing patients to submit a complaint to the Ohio Department of Health if hospitals did not publish their prices. A Senate committee changed the bill to allow hospitals to publish estimates, not actual prices, and remove the language about patients submitting complaints to the health department.

The Ohio Hospital Association said in a statement that the changes aligned the bill more closely with the federal rule for price transparency.

The Senate Small Business and Economic Opportunity Committee could vote on the bill at its meeting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

If the Senate passes the bill, it will either be sent back to the House or to a conference committee for further changes.

This story will be updated.

Erin Glynn is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio Senate could vote on hospital price bill this week

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