Gazette opinion: How much will that clinic visit cost?

csimt In The News

By: Editorial Board

If you went to a doctor’s office yesterday, you probably don’t know what that visit cost you. If she wrote a prescription, you didn’t know what the pharmacy would charge until you picked it up. If someone in your family has been hospitalized in recent weeks, you’re probably still getting multiple bills for specialty services, lab, inpatient and outpatient care.

Most Americans don’t know in advance – or even after the treatment — what their health care will cost. That makes choosing care options and budgeting for out-of-pocket expenses very difficult.

The 2017 Montana Legislature resolved to try to close that information gap, starting with a study of transparency in health care pricing…

Sarah Swanson Partridge, general manager of Farm Equipment Sales in Glasgow will represent a small group employer. Other members include Bob Olsen, Montana Hospital Association vice president; John Hill, president of Bozeman Health; Cherie Taylor, CEO for Northern Rockies Medical Center in Cut Bank, Dr. Roman Hendrickson of Sheridan; Jen Hensley, of PacificSource Health Plans; and Olivia Riutta, outreach and engagement manager for the Montana Primary Care Association. The state Department of Administration and the State Auditor’s Office will each have a representative.

The price transparency subcommittee will have one year to complete its study and report. Its first meeting is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Sept. 12 in Room 137 of the Capitol. HJR20 says the panel has to be finished by Sept. 15, 2018.

Read more at the Billings Gazette