The Ohio Hospital Association and several other provider organizations have filed a lawsuit against the state of Ohio to block a law requiring price disclosures to patients before they are given non-emergency treatment (Source: “Ohio hospitals want to overturn price disclosure law,” Dayton Daily News, Dec. 27, 2016).
Before non-emergency services are rendered, a healthcare provider would have to give patients written estimates on how much their insurer will be billed for each procedure, test or service, how much their insurers will pay, and calculations for the patients’ out-of-pocket costs. The hospitals, doctors and others suing the state call it “poorly written, confusing, ambiguous ... and impossible legislation.”
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jim Butler, R-Oakwood, countered that the health care lobby is resisting price transparency. “It is definitely not something that is impossible for them to carry out. They just don’t want to carry it out. That’s the problem,” Butler said.
In late December, Williams County Common Pleas Court Judge J.T. Stelzer issued a 30-day restraining order, blocking the law from taking effect Jan. 1, and scheduled a hearing for Jan. 20. The list of groups joining the lawsuit is extensive: Ohio Hospital Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Ohio Psychological Association, Ohio Physical Therapy Association, Ohio Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and others.
The Kasich administration declined to comment on the suit, saying it doesn’t talk about pending litigation.