U.S. Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (TX-26) and U.S. Congressman Gene Green (TX-29) have introduced H.R. 5800, the Health Care Price Transparency Promotion Act of 2012. Their bipartisan bill aims to make health care more affordable by promoting greater transparency about the costs of health care services for patients.
The Health Care Price Transparency Promotion Act directs the states to establish and maintain laws requiring disclosure of information on hospital charges. Additionally, the bill requires hospitals and health plans to make such information available to the public, and to provide individuals with information about estimated out-of-pocket costs for health care services.
34 states already require hospitals to report information on hospital charges or payment rates and make that data available to the public; an additional seven states have voluntary efforts.
H.R. 5800 also requires the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to conduct a study on the types of price information that consumers want and would find useful in their health care decision-making.