The Norman Transcript

January 22, 2014

Hospital transparency act would require posted prices

For The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — A bill that would require hospitals and surgical centers to post prices for common procedures has been filed for the upcoming legislative session.


House Bill 2400, by state Rep. Arthur Hulbert, would create the “Oklahoma Health Care Cost Reduction and Transparency Act of 2014” and require hospitals and surgical centers that bill Medicaid to provide price information for the 100 most common diagnostic-related groups (DRGs), the 100 most common surgical procedures and 50 most common imaging procedures to the Oklahoma Department of Health. A DRG is a statistical system of classifying medical diagnoses for the purpose of payment.


The prices would be posted on the Department of Health website.


“The healthcare industry is the only industry I know of where the consumer is not aware of the costs of the goods or services before they access them,” said Rep. Hulbert, R-Ft. Gibson. “If an individual is required to assume financial responsibility of a procedure, they should have some idea what the costs would be ahead of time.”


The bill requires those hospitals and surgical centers to provide the full price of the procedure that would be paid by a patient if no third-party, such as private insurance, Medicaid or Medicare, assumed a portion of the charges.


The bill also requires those hospitals and surgical centers to report the amount of reimbursement they receive for each DRG from Medicaid and Medicare.