Florida Lawmakers Want Healthcare Price Transparency

Jan 11, 2016

Sen. Rob Bradley and Rep. Chris Sprowls discuss price transparency in hospitals.
Credit Nick Evans / WFSU News

Gov. Scott wants to increase transparency in hospital pricing. Two Florida lawmakers have a proposal.

Florida Sen. Rob Bradley and Rep. Chris Sprowls want to get rid of unexpected hospital bills. He  says patients need to be informed.

“The real priority is to empower the patient to become a consumer. That is what we’re gonna see drive quality in healthcare.”

The legislation calls for consistency and predictability in the healthcare marketplace. The goal is to lower cost and increase quality of Florida healthcare.

“This legislation will empower consumers with real, usable information about cost and quality before they make healthcare decisions," said Bradley.

Governor Rick Scott has called for tough penalties for hospitals that price gouge patients. “The Governor believes that any legislation that does not strictly prohibit hospitals from price gouging patients – through tough penalties and clear legal definitions – simply does not go far enough," his spokeswoman Jackie Schutz, told Politico Florida last week. "Too many in Florida have been a victim of hospital price gouging and the Governor is committed to bringing that to an end.”

Bradley says he doesn’t see a need for criminal penalties. In response to the legislation, the Florida Hospital Association issued a statement.

“Florida hospitals support price transparency and are committed to helping patients understand the cost of their care. We stand ready to work with lawmakers in the House and Senate to find the best approach to give patients meaningful information about the cost and quality of their health care. We believe there’s room to find common ground on the proposed legislation. And, this week, we’re launching a new section on missiontocare.org to display hospital price and quality data in a publicly available, easier-to-use format," said Association spokeswoman Monica Corbett.