Dream Of A Medical ‘Price List’ Dies In Florida Legislature

Tue, 01/31/2012 - 5:00am
Sarah Barr

Imagine if finding out the cost of a particular treatment or procedure at a doctors’ office was as easy as locating the prices of entrees at a restaurant. The menu might read: school physicals – $40; office visit for a cold – $80; diabetes screening – $200. But to the dismay of some consumer advocates, this push for health care pricing transparency never made it out of the kitchen.

While a Florida state House committee approved legislation that would expand the state’s requirement that certain providers post the out-of-pocket prices of common health care services, a state Senate committee shot down a similar measure after an aggressive lobbying push by health care provider groups.

Organizations representing the state’s doctors weren’t wild about the idea that certain facilities would have to display bulletin-board sized postings of their prices.

Jeff Scott, general counsel for the Florida Medical Association, said that providers are all for transparency, but they don’t need the government telling them exactly how they should do it.

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