Working on Consumer Costs

August 05, 2019

We know from media reports, legislative action, and comments from community members that health care bills often confuse and distress patients. Concerns have amplified since insurers started to narrow their networks and to raise consumer cost-sharing to ever greater levels.

We now face significant focus at both the state and federal levels on cost transparency, financial assistance, surprise billing, facility fees, and collection of patient financial responsibility. These issues will feature prominently in the U.S. Congress this fall and the Maryland General Assembly in the 2020 legislative session.

To support the field, MHA is undertaking a multi-pronged effort to address consumer cost exposure. As you do at your hospitals, in each of these endeavors, easing the patient’s burden is central to our work. MHA efforts include the following:

  • Ready field-wide forms and consumer-facing tools on outpatient clinic facility fee disclosures.
  • Seek an opinion – working with the state administration – to determine how federal surprise billing legislation would affect our hospitals and care partners in the Total Cost of Care Model.
  • Advocate for reasonable federal solutions in alignment with the American Hospital Association.
  • Survey hospitals to better understand the range of patient financial assistance and credit and collections policies practices, to prepare for the 2020 legislative session.
  • Created educational resources outlining the points of federal proposals and state law on surprise billing and cost transparency, along with talking points that outline our positions.

We appreciate your leadership and partnership as we collaborate to address these high-profile concerns around consumer cost exposure.