Lapid urges hospitals, healthcare providers to publicize cost of services
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid urged hospitals and healthcare providers anew on Thursday to publicize the cost of their services to avoid being surprised by the huge hospital bill.
Lapid issued the remark as he refiled his proposed Medical Bill Transparency Act, a measure that will mandate hospitals and healthcare providers to make the actual price of services more transparent to the patients before they receive a service.
“Muli po nating hinihiling na isapubliko ng mga ospital at healthcare providers ang presyo ng kanilang mga serbisyo upang makapili ng maayos ang ating mga kababayan kung saan sila magpapagamot at nang hindi sila masusurpresa sa bayarin,” Lapid said in a statement.
(We once again ask that hospitals and healthcare providers to make public the price of their services so that our countrymen can choose properly where they want to receive treatment and that they will not be surprised by the huge bill.)
With the proposed measure, patients will have the ability to choose the healthcare best suited for them, preventing them from any unexpected billing.
Once passed, the Secretary of Health is tasked to craft regulations that would require hospitals to publicly post standard charge information, which will include charges and information based on negotiated rates for common items and services, in an easy-to-understand, consumer-friendly, and machine-readable format.
Healthcare providers, health insurance issuers, and self-insured group health plans are likewise asked to provide or facilitate access to information about expected out-of-pocket costs.
“Sa ilalalim ng panukalang ito, layunin nating maging pro-aktibo ang ating mga ospital at healthcare providers sa pagbibigay alam sa publiko kung magkano mismo ang kanilang kailangang bayaran para sa mga serbisyo, gamot, at iba pang mga bayarin. Kalakip ng panukalang ito, hinihimok rin natin ang mga ospital at healthcare providers na magbigay ng update sa publiko kung may mga pagbabago sa mga impormasyong ito,” Lapid said.
(Under this measure, we aim that our hospitals and healthcare providers be proactive in informing the public exactly how much they have to pay for services, medicines, and other fees. Along with this measure, we also urge hospitals and healthcare providers to provide an update to the public if there are changes with this information.)
The measure also mandates the elimination of “unnecessary barriers” to price and quality transparency, increasing the availability of meaningful price and quality information to patients, and enhancing patients’ control over their own healthcare resources, including health insurance coverage.
Lapid first filed the Medical Bill Transparency Act in August of 2021. Nicole Faye Agcaoili, INQUIRER.net intern
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