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New Law Hopes to put Florida at Forefront of Healthcare Transparency

April 22nd, 2016 by flanews

If you’ve ever needed a medical procedure, one question that always comes up: how much? As Matt Galka tells us, a new law hopes to put Florida at the forefront of answering that question.

After Florida lawmakers pushed back against Medicaid expansion – the quest to keep healthcare costs down and affordable in Florida turned towards transparency. Enter a new online database bill signed by the Governor last week.  The state’s Agency for Healthcare Administration and private vendor will now be required to provide pricing information online.

The state has been given low marks on healthcare price transparency in the past.

LuMarie Polivka-West with the Florida Community Health Action Information Network says it’s great for consumers.

“This is one of the major costs that each of us have in our budgets, 18 percent of the costs in our country goes to healthcare, it’s a major part for all of us that we play, so this is very important information,” she said.

The Florida Hospital Association also ended up backing the bill.  But not before a provision was taken out that would have penalized hospitals – something that was a priority for the Governor before it was scratched out.

“The goal of this legislation is to make sure people are more informed about healthcare and about cost, access, and quality then we support that. But if the idea is just to try to penalize folks or try to create a villain, then we would not be supportive of that,” said FHA President Bruce Rueben.

The database will cost the state almost four million dollars the first year, and then 600 thousand dollars for data collection and storage the year after.

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