Ohio Experience Underscores Challenges of Making Health Costs Transparent

Powerful provider groups oppose new law

One of the common complaints in health care is that nobody really knows what something costs. Price variation occurs not only within regions or states, but even in the same city.

Kaiser Health News reports on an effort by Ohioan legislators to bring price transparency into that state and the story underscores that the obstacles to what would seem like a no-brainer adjustment are daunting.

The state’s Healthcare Price Transparency Law was supposed to take effect January 1. It didn’t, thanks in part to opposition from businesses and hospitals. “Opposition has been formidable, led by the goliath Ohio Hospital Association,” KHN reports. “It has filed a court injunction that is currently delaying enactment, peppered local news media with editorials, and lobbied Republican Gov. John Kasich, who has eliminated funding that would allow implementation from the latest state budget.”

Among other groups opposed: the American Osteopathic Association, the Ohio State Medical Association, the American College of Surgeons, the Ohio Psychological Association, the Ohio Physical Therapy Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

A formidable lineup, to say the least.

Source: Kaiser Health News