California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Developement (OSHPD) unveiled a new Web site intended to help consumers compare charity care and discount payment policies at hospitals statewide.
The Web site (Hospital Fair Pricing Program) enables residents to search for a hospital by name or location on the site to view its discount pricing policy and download an application. New York (hospitals.nyhealth.gov) is the only other state to offer consumers a tool to compare charity care or discount payment policies, reports San Francisco Chronicle.
The OSHPD Web site is the result of a 2006 hospital pricing law introduced that prohibits California hospitals from charging low- to moderate-income patients more than the highest rates charged by Medicare or any other government payment program in which the hospital participates.
Policies for about 82% of the state’s 405 acute-care hospitals are currently posted on the site. About 50 hospitals have not submitted their policies, while other hospitals have submitted information that has not yet been reviewed by the state agency. Most of the hospitals not yet complying with the law are small or independent facilities concentrated in Southern California (iHealthBeat).