On Wednesday, May 3, 2023, State Senator Mary Felzkowski (R-Irma) and other lawmakers introduced the Know Your Healthcare Costs Act (LRB-1676). The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL), Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC), and other business groups came out in support of the legislation, as it would lay out clear requirements for hospitals to share pricing with consumers.
Wisconsin’s hospital costs have risen to the 4th highest nationally. Families have become increasingly concerned about the price of healthcare, with 67% of Americans reporting that they worry about unexpected medical bills. Recent polling shows that 90% of Wisconsinites support greater healthcare price transparency to better control healthcare costs.
Price transparency is a tool that puts power back into the hands of patients—giving them an outlet to shop for services, compare prices, and make more informed decisions about their health. Established federal rules already require hospitals to disclose pricing information. However, a recent review found that only 45% of sampled Wisconsin hospitals were fully compliant with the federal rules. In response, several states have taken bipartisan action to codify price transparency requirements into state law, including Colorado and Texas. The proposed legislation would build on those efforts.
In October of 2022, WILL released a policy report, Empowering Patients: How Price Transparency Will Lower Healthcare Costs. The report explains how healthcare price transparency works, and how research has found that it can lower costs for consumers. This recently introduced legislation closely mirrors the solutions outlined in this report.
Please join WILL Policy Director Kyle Koenen, WILL Research Director Will Flanders, State Senator Mary Felzkowski and the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Right on Healthcare Director David Balat for a discussion on the need for price transparency in healthcare.