Ferguson, Barhorst introduce legislation to increase healthcare transparency

COLUMBUS – State Reps. Ron Ferguson, R-Wintersville, and Tim Barhorst, R-Fort Loramie, today filed legislation to increase hospital price transparency and reduce the cost of healthcare in Ohio.

Laws mandating greater price transparency have been in place since the Obama Administration; however, a majority of hospitals today are not in compliance. The legislation filed by Ferguson and Barhorst seeks to codify these federal laws into the Ohio Revised Code to allow for greater enforcement.

“This bill will empower consumers to make informed decisions about their healthcare,” Ferguson said. “By codifying and enforcing existing federal laws, we hope to lower costs for hardworking Ohioans.”

In addition to codifying existing federal laws, the bill contains added provisions prohibiting hospitals that are not in compliance from doing any of the following:

• Referring, assigning, or selling medical debt to debt collectors;

• Accessing the state court system to obtain judgement for an outstanding medical debt; and

• Filing negative credit reports against patients for outstanding medical bills.

“We have to take these steps to ensure Ohioans not only have control over their healthcare options, but to ensure the healthcare system in Ohio is in lockstep with federal law and medicare rules,” Barhorst added. “Our hope is to alleviate problems towards the unknown cost of healthcare and give people the transparency they deserve.”