Wisconsin Republicans prep hospital cost transparency bill

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Hospitals in Wisconsin that don’t comply with federal price transparency regulations could be fined by state regulators under a new proposal from Republican lawmakers.

State Sen. Mary Felzkowski and Rep. Robert Brooks began circulating the measure for co-sponsors on Wednesday.

The legislation would require Wisconsin hospitals to post online standard costs for at least 300 services that can be scheduled in advance. Violators would face state Department of Health Services fines ranging from $600 per day to $10,000 per day, depending on the hospital’s size.

Felzkowski told reporters on Wednesday that the bill largely mirrors existing federal regulations but would allow the state to enforce them. She and Brooks said the bill would help create competition in the health care industry, leading to lower prices.

Colorado and Texas have passed similar laws.

Wisconsin Hospital Association President and CEO Eric Borgerding issued a statement calling the legislation unnecessary. Hospitals in Wisconsin already comply with the federal rules, and the bill would create another complicated and confusing set of regulations, he said.

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