Ferguson, Barhorst introduce legislation to increase health care transparency


COLUMBUS – State Representatives Ron Ferguson (R-Wintersville) and Tim Barhorst (R-Fort Loramie) today filed legislation to increase hospital price transparency and reduce the cost of health care 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.

Champaign is among those counties represented in Columbus by Barhorst.

“This bill will empower consumers to make informed decisions about their health care,” 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 health care options, but to ensure the health care 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 health care and give people the transparency they deserve.”

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