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.
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The California health exchange has set monthly limits on prices consumers will pay for specialty prescription drugs.
The State of California has dropped an appeal in an ongoing court case regarding the state’s treatment of mentally ill prison inmates.
It can be hard enough to understand everything doctors tell you, even when they speak your language. For limited or non-English speakers, language can be a barrier to good care.
A bill that would limit California power to recover assets from the estates of deceased people will have a hearing at the Capitol this Monday. A similar bill was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown last year.