“We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action, constantly complaining but never doing anything about it. The time for empty talk is over. Now arrives the hour of action.” President Donald J. Trump Inaugural Address 2017
Ohio State House representative Jim Butler, R-Oakwood in Kettering, is a politician who is taking action. Rep. Butler introduced the Healthcare Price Transparency Law in June 2015. Remember that date- June 2015, over 18 months ago. The law passed unanimously, and was signed by Governor Kasich.
Yet the Ohio Hospital Association (OHA), joined by the Ohio State Medical Association (OSMA), filed a lawsuit in late 2016 to block the law from starting on January 1, 2017. The OHA and OSMA claim they need more time. As if 18 months is not enough.
The Old Game of Hide and Seek
Patients have a right to know the cost of their healthcare. Would you shop at Kroger or Elder-Beerman only to know the price 30 to 60 days later? Would you by a house only to know the price 30 to 60 days later after closing? So why is the price of healthcare any different than the cost of food, clothing, and shelter? The Ohio Hospital Association and the Ohio State Medical Association want to keep the price of their services far from transparent.
Trying to find the true cost of your medical care-before the procedure-is difficult to say the least. What makes it even more stressful is that you are doing this when you are sick. The cost of healthcare seems the least of your worries in a crisis.
So how does Ohio rate compared to other states as far as healthcare cost transparency? In 2016, the Healthcare Incentives Improvement Institute gave Ohio a solid “F” along with 42 other states. That’s right, in the vast majority of states in the US, the cost of healthcare is far from transparent.
The Hour of Action
So what can you do as the patient? Most of your health care visits and procedures are “elective” or non-urgent, in medical terms. So you have time to find out. You have the right to know from your hospitals and your doctors the out-of-pocket expenses to you before the procedure. It is your health and your money in the end.
But don’t wait for politicians to solve your life and death problems. Take back your life and take back your health care. Demand the costs of your health care before the procedure. You will be shocked at the price differences among hospitals and doctors.
First Dayton Cancer Care has been providing out-of-pocket cost estimates for patients at the start of their care since 2003. It can be done, despite what the Ohio Hospital Association and the Ohio State Medical Association will lead you to believe.
If you have any questions about your cancer, please feel free to call me, Dr. Edward Hughes at 855-Dayton 1