Testimony: Hospital Facility Fee Transparency

This bill increases price transparency for “outpatient facility fees” which are separate from fees for professional service. This added transparency is essential to protect patients as consumers and to help address the increasing costs of healthcare in Maryland.

HB915: Health Facilities – Hospitals – Disclosure of Outpatient Facility Fees (Facility Fee Right-to-Know Act)

FAVORABLE

This bill increases price transparency for “outpatient facility fees” which are separate from fees for professional service. This added transparency is essential to protect patients as consumers and to help address the increasing costs of healthcare in Maryland.

Marylanders have access to some of the best medical care in the world, from life-saving drugs, to advanced medical devices, to cutting edge-surgical techniques. But our system is seriously flawed, with costs spiraling out of control leaving many Marylanders to spend more on care and often receiving worse care than they could get in many other countries.

We can do better. We must hold hospitals and insurance companies accountable to ensure they are delivering on their commitments to patients. 

From surprise hospital fees and other medical bills, to exorbitant costs for prescription drugs, unjustifiably high costs are everywhere in our health care system. At $10,000 per person each year, we spend twice as much money as similarly wealthy countries per person.

The very least we can do about rising health care costs is make sure consumers can get prices for fees, services and treatment up front, to allow for more informed decisions about value, encourage price competition that could help keep costs in check, and create accountability for unreasonably high-cost hospitals and providers.

We reccommend a favorable report.

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Authors

Emily Scarr

State Director, Maryland PIRG

Emily directs strategy, organizational development, research, communications and legislative advocacy for Maryland PIRG. Emily has helped win small donor public financing in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County. She has played a key role in establishing new state laws to to protect public health by restricting the use of antibiotics on Maryland farms, require testing for lead in school drinking water and restrict the use of toxic flame retardant and PFAS chemicals. Emily also serves on the Executive Committees of the Maryland Fair Elections Coalition and the Maryland Campaign to Keep Antibiotics Working. Emily lives in Baltimore City with her husband, kids, and dog.

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