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Association of Independent Doctors Plea: Lend Your Voice to U.S. Transparency Bill

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Transparency in health-care pricing is one of AID's core missions. A new bipartisan bill circulating in Congress would go a long way toward that goal if passed. We are asking for your help in encouraging members of congress to support HR 4808.

Executive Director Marni Jameson Carey sent a version of the letter below to several U.S. congressional leaders this week. We encourage you to do the same. Here is a word doc for you to personalize and send to your representative and senator.

Dear (NAME OF REP. OR SEN.):

I am writing to ask your support for a bipartisan bill that would go a long way toward reducing health-care costs in America. HR 4808 The Transparent Health Care Pricing Act of 2018 is sponsored by Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo) and Mike Gallagher (R-Wisc.) It simply asks for something every other industry offers. Let consumers know up front the price of a treatment before they receive the bill. The Congressmen would like to share the letter below to urge you and other members of Congress to please cosponsor this bill.

As a member of the Association of Independent Doctors, a national nonprofit trade association with more than 1,000 physician members in 33 states, I believe that consumers and businesses can play a significant role in turning around the problems plaguing America's health-care system. However, for them to do that, they need to be able to shop prices. Without price transparency, that's impossible. In no other industry does the consumer have absolutely no idea what a product or service will cost until the bill arrives. Hospitals like to keep patients in the dark.

One surgical center based in Oklahoma City is the exception.T he doctor-owned center posts prices online. Patients know precisely what they will be charged when they walk in the door. The prices are one-sixth to one-tenth the cost of what the hospital charges. Yet the center is profitable.

We respectfully ask for health policies and laws that would require price disclosure in the health-care marketplace, and that would require all hospitals, outpatient centers, labs and medical offices to post pricing, including facility fees, so consumers can make informed choices before they undergo treatment.

Most sincerely,

(YOUR NAME AND SIGNATURE HERE)

Cosponsor H.R. 4808, the Transparent Health Care Pricing Act of 2018

Dear Colleague:

We've all heard stories from constituents who go to the doctor for a procedure and weeks later receive a bill for thousands of dollars they didn't know was coming. This has become all too common and is hurting families across the country. Patients should have the information they need in order to make informed decisions about their healthcare. Transparency promotes accountability and helps bring down costs to finally bend the cost curve.

Our bipartisan bill requires disclosure of costs at the point of service for products, services and procedures empowering patients to have accurate information to make the best possible health-care decisions. The providers would be required to disclose all prices, including wholesale, retail, and discounted prices. When negotiated rates are out in the open, patients can make an informed choice. This transparency will lead to competition, and competition will bring down the prices for everyone.

The nonpartisan Public Agenda found 63 percent of Americans say there is not enough information about how much medical services cost. Improving health-care price transparency will improve access to quality affordable care and allow everyone to make better informed decisions about their healthcare.

If you have any questions or would like to cosponsor this bill, please contact Julia Harrington Julia.harrington@mail.house.gov in Rep. Perlmutter's office or Matt Tucker matt.tucker@mail.house.gov in Rep. Gallagher's office.

Sincerely,

Ed Perlmutter and Mike Gallagher

Members of Congress



 
 
 
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