Sen. Miramant introduces bill to increase transparency in health care costs

Wed, 04/21/2021 - 10:30am

AUGUSTA — Senator David Miramant, D-Camden, introduced a bill this week that would require hospitals to publicly post the costs of medical procedures and services on a publicly accessible website.

LD 1353, “An Act To Require the Public Posting of the Costs of Medical Procedures, Services, Medications and Equipment Delivered in Hospitals and the Reporting of Those Costs upon Request,” was the subject of a public hearing before the Legislature’s Health Coverage, Insurance and Financial Service Committee.

“Hospitals say they offer payment plans and that no one is denied treatment. This may be true for some, but there are many stories of people driven to bankruptcy after an unfortunate series of events topped by the experience of being overcharged by the hospital,” said Sen. Miramant. “Posting these costs publicly may stimulate enough indignation to spur people to rise up and demand a change from our health care system.”

LD 1353 goes beyond requiring that costs be publicly posted by adding that it shall provide notice of the posting to its patients as well as providing this information upon patient request. If a hospital violates this provision it would be subject to a fine.

The bill is cosponsored by Senators Ned Claxton of Androscoggin, Nathan Libby of Androscoggin, Craig Hickman of Kennebec and Chloe Maxmin of Lincoln, in addition to Reps. Lynn Copeland of Saco, Thom Harnett of Gardiner, Charlotte Warren of Hallowell, Lynne Williams of Bar Harbor and Stanley Paige Zeigler of Montville. 

LD 1353 faces further action in committee.