Judge J. T. Stelzer of the Williams County Common Pleas Court has extended a restraining order preventing Ohio’s price transparency law from going into effect through the trial date which is set for Monday, August 14. This delay is to give parties more time to work on a legislative solution. House Bill 49, the state budget bill, contains a provision that eliminates the price transparency statute.
As was reported in the December 20, 2016, edition of the Weekly Family Medicine Update, all physician and other health care organizations have stated “loudly and clearly” that the price transparency statute that went into effective January 1, is unworkable and impossible to implement. The report of the Health Services Price Disclosure Study Committee is still unwritten and the rules to implement the statute are not promulgated. The statute contains no penalties for failing to adhere to the law but most physician contracts contain a clause that states they must be in compliance with all state laws, so it is imperative that a fix be determined as soon as possible.
The intent of the legislation is to require providers of health care services to offer, upon request, a good-faith cost estimate for all non-emergency services. Legislators see the need for improved health care price transparency, but don’t necessarily understand how complex and difficult it is to make it happen.”
Negotiations relative to how to amend the law to make it workable have been occurring for nearly two years with no agreed upon outcome to date; thus, the need for filing of the lawsuit requesting a temporary restraining order.