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Wisconsin's health care transparency law comes into effect

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Under a new state law, patients in Wisconsin have a right to information about charges, insurance payments and out-of-pocket costs for the most common types of care at hospitals and clinics. The health care transparency law, which also aims to raise awareness about the quality of care,  took effect Jan. 1.

Some details of the law:

  • Hospitals must release the median charge and estimated payments from private insurers and Medicare for the state’s top 75 hospitalizations and top 75 outpatient procedures.
  • Beginning March 1, clinics with four or more doctors must release similar information for the top 25 reasons people go to the doctor. Other kinds of providers, from pharmacists and podiatrists to acupuncturists, will be added later.
  • Hospitals and clinics that report data to quality organizations must let patients know how to obtain it.
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