Hospital Price Transparency Obligation Passes First Vote at Texas House
Texas News Today | Carol Bull | May 19, 2021
The law, which requires hospitals to list actual prices rather than estimated ranges, passed the Texas House significantly on Wednesday. That bill, Senate Bill (SB) 1137, Already passed the Senate and is one of the House Healthcare Priority..
Under SB 1137, hospitals need to maintain a list of all standard rates, make them easily accessible to the general public, and make them free of charge. The price disclosure must include the total price, the lowest and highest negotiated rates, the discounted cash price, and the insurance negotiated rate.
“Healthcare transparency is very important because healthcare is the only sector in our economy where we don’t know what it will cost before we buy,” Oliverson said. Texan After the first floor vote.
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The Texan | Brad Johnson | June 26, 2020
Merger called off between Memorial Hermann, Baylor Scott & White
Houston Business Journal | Christopher Mathews | January 27, 2019
The planned merger between Houston-based Memorial Hermann Health System and Dallas-based Baylor Scott & White Health has been called off, according to an internal memo sent to employees Feb. 5.
"Our goal was never about getting bigger," Chuck Stokes, CEO and president of Memorial Hermann, said in the memo. "Our goal is to create a model for integrated, consumer-centric, cost-effective care, and I am confident in Memorial Hermann’s ability to accelerate and achieve this effort."
The deal between the two health giants, announced Oct. 1, 2018, was expected to create the largest health system in the state of Texas with combined revenue of $14.4 billion. Had they combined, the two hospital systems would have operated 68 hospital campuses and more than 1,100 care-delivery sites with nearly 14,000 employed, independent and academic physicians. They have more than 73,000 employees across more than...read more here.
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Drug Pricing Talks -- Please let US Sen. Cornyn Know He's Asking the Right Question
During late January's Senate Finance Committee meeting in Washington, where lawmakers were discussing drug pricing, Texas Senator John Cornyn asked the key question:
"Why do we have a prohibition on kickbacks, also known as rebates, but we allow them for pharmaceutical pricing?”
Please help make his phone ring in support of this comment. Rebates to GPOs and PBMs -- or what FDA chief Scott Gottlieb calls "Kabuki drug pricing" -- are at the root of high drug prices and drug shortages. Drug rebates need to go.
Here's an editorial from today on the topic:
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Texas Judge Strikes Down Obama’s Affordable Care Act as Unconstitutional
A federal judge in Texas struck down the entire Affordable Care Act on Friday on the grounds that its mandate requiring people to buy health insurance is unconstitutional and the rest of the law cannot stand without it.
The ruling was over a lawsuit filed this year by a group of Republican governors and state attorneys general. A group of intervening states led by Democrats promised to appeal the decision, which will most likely not have any immediate effect. But it will almost certainly make its way to the Supreme Court, threatening the survival of the landmark health law and, with it, health coverage for millions of Americans, protections for people with pre-existing conditions and much more.
In his ruling, Judge Reed O’Connor of the Federal District Court in Fort Worth said that the individual mandate requiring people to have health insurance “can no longer be sustained as an exercise of Congress’s tax power.”
Accordingly, Judge O’Connor, a George W. Bush appointee, said that “the individual mandate is unconstitutional” and the remaining provisions of the Affordable Care Act are invalid.
Read more here.
CROSS-MARKET HOSPITAL MERGERS CONTINUE DESPITE RISING REGULATORY SCRUTINY | MODERN HEALTHCARE
Venodhar Julapalli, MD