Illinois to post health care prices
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 4, 2005
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed the "Illinois Health Care Consumer's Right-to-Know" bill June 15, making health care pricing and information on facilities' outpatient procedural performances public.
"Consumers have a right to know how much medical procedures cost and how much experience medical facilities have in performing the procedures," Blagojevich said in a statement. "With this new law, the people of Illinois will be able to make better-informed decisions about their health care."
The new law requires the Illinois Dept. of Public Health to post average charges for 30 outpatient procedures, along with the number of times annually each facility performs these procedures. The law builds on an existing law requiring the department to publish inpatient hospital price and performance information on its Web site.
"It is important that information be obtained on all surgeries to get a more accurate picture of this component of health care," said Eric E. Whitaker, MD, MPH, state public health director. "When making this information public, it's also important that we protect the rights of patients. This bill ensures privacy laws are enforced to prevent disclosure of any personal information that would identify an individual patient."
Illinois is now one of nine states giving performance and fee data from hospitals and medical centers to consumers.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/07/04/prbf0704.htm.