Oregon Hospitals Launch New Price Transparency Initiative

Mar 13, 2015

The Oregon Association of Hospitals has developed a new initiative to make the cost of medical care known to patients in advance.  All of Oregon's 62 community hospitals have agreed to participate. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert explains what this means to patients with and without insurance.

When it comes to health care price transparency, a national rating system finds Oregon is failing, literally.

Davidson: "Oregon currently receives an F."

That's Andy Davidson. He's President of the Oregon Association of Hospitals and says their initiative is designed to get that grade up.

It includes a piece of legislation, Senate Bill 900, which will create a new state-run website to display the average prices paid for the most common procedures. The initiative also pledges buy-in from health insurers and hospitals. Again, Andy Davidson:

Oregon hospitals agree to provide costs in advance for up to 200 procedures.
Credit srpenvironmental.com

Davidson:"Folks want to know what it's gonna cost them out-of-pocket. So if you've got insurance, your insurance carrier is really the right place to go to find those things out in advance of an elective procedure. Now, if you don't have insurance, all of Oregon's hospitals have agreed to provide a good faith estimate, in advance."

The Senate Committee on Healthcare will hear SB900 next week (March 25, 2015.) Davidson says his agency is committed to all the aims of the initiative. And, he is optimistic. Afterall,

Davidson: "Who's not for transparency?"