Pricing transparency

“For our community, For our patients, we have a responsibility at every level to  be transparent. ”
–Julie Markiewicz, Auditor II, Kaiser & Vice President, Healthcare, SEIU Local 49

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The Problem: Hospital prices are confusing and typically not disclosed to patients before billing. Hospitals in the same community often charge very different amounts for the same services. They also charge different prices to care for patients with the same health problems, depending on what insurance they have or if they are insured at all.

We’d like to require hospitals to prominently display (in the hospital and on their website) the ‘actual price charged’ by the hospital for common procedures.

  • Consumers are able to comparison shop for everything from groceries to phones to cars. Oregonians should be able to compare hospitals based upon the prices they charge.

  • Patients can make more informed decisions about their care if they can compare charges for the same services between hospitals.

Executive compensation and bonuses

 “I don’t really care how much my CEO makes, but don’t tell me that I make too much.”
-Mary Brooks, Detail Clerk, Kaiser

For publicly traded companies (for-profit hospitals), executive pay must be approved by the Board of Directors and how bonuses are earned must be publicly disclosed. But not-for-profit hospitals are not currently held to the same standards.

We believe executive pay standards should be evaluated and bonuses should be tied to hospital quality measurements and outcome.

Reasonable rates

“I don’t understand why hospitals charge drastically different prices for the same procedures. Our community should know what these costs are actually for and be able to make decisions base on this information.”
–Renato Quintero, Custodian, SBM, Vice President Property Services, SEIU Local 49

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The Problem: Hospital services have become increasingly unaffordable for many Oregonians. Many hospitals often charge patients more than double what it costs them to provide the service. Hospitals in the same community often charge different amounts for the same service and charge different prices to different insurance providers.

We believe hospitals should set up uniform and reasonable rates for individuals and health plans.

  • It makes no sense for different hospitals to charge different prices for the same services.
  • Price limits would be adjusted to allow hospitals to recover losses from treating low income and uninsured patients through charity and Medicaid care.
  • Price limits would not apply to small, rural hospitals designated as Critical Access Hospitals, which face a different set of challenges.