People like to research prices before they make a big purchase - and that goes for everything from cars to surgery. At least, that’s what Democratic Assemblymember Roger Hernandez says. He says his bill would create a website that lists costs of medical procedures, so that consumers can find the best deal.
“It’s important for consumers to be equipped with the information that will give them the power to question billing practices, to question a procedure that they feel they’re being overcharged for, and thus maybe the insurance company is being overcharged for,” Hernandez says.
The website would display the amount charged for a healthcare service, and how much was actually paid. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones supports the idea of an online database.
“When you think about it, for every other good or service that we purchase, you can see a price list, but not medical services. And the prices vary all over the place. Even from the same medical provider,” Jones says.
Jones says there may be legal impediments to making more health pricing information publically available.
Health insurance rates will rise an average of 4 percent next year for people buying insurance through California’s health exchange.
Covered California will announce its 2016 health insurance rates Monday.
The California Senate held two hearings today as part of special legislative sessions ordered by Governor Jerry Brown. The sessions will deal with infrastructure and health financing. But some lawmakers wonder what they will accomplish.
Advocates for the developmentally disabled are furious after being left out of this year’s California budget deal. They held a tense rally at the Capitol Wednesday.
In Reno and around the country, community paramedics are providing more primary and preventive care and taking non-emergency patients to facilities other than emergency rooms.