A key Florida lawmaker has introduced legislation that he says will allow Floridians to save money on their health care.
Palm Coast Republican Paul Renner, in line to become House Speaker in 2022-24, filed the Patient Savings Act (HB 1113).
The Act, filed Tuesday, intends to give patients greater information about the costs of health procedures and services and the chance to reduce their premiums when they shop for and find high-quality, lower-cost options, according to Renner.
“In every area except health care, we are able to shop for the highest quality at the lowest price,” Renner says.
The bill follows recent complaints by current Speaker José Oliva, a Miami Lakes Republican, of “continued hospital price increases” and that health care in the Sunshine State is “behind the curve.”
That’s despite a law passed in 2016 that promised “greater consumer access to health care price … information.”
Added Renner: “…Patients often feel lost when navigating the health care system. As a result, they end up paying thousands more than they should because they are denied information about quality, lower-cost alternatives.”
Under the Patient Savings Act, patients can receive price saving options for a variety of services, including clinical laboratory services, infusion therapy, inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures, and obstetrical and gynecological services.
It also covers inpatient and outpatient nonsurgical diagnostic tests and procedures, physical and occupational therapy services, radiology and imaging services, prescription drugs, and telehealth services, Renner says.
“The Patient Savings Act allows patients to know the cost of a procedure before they receive care, and then directly rewards them with savings when they pick higher-value providers,” he adds.
“This legislation offers Floridians the opportunity to take more control over their health care and lower their own health care costs.”
Renner’s bill joins other efforts out of Tallahassee in recent years to control health care costs.
For example, Republican former Gov. Rick Scott – once a for-profit hospital chain executive – created a Commission on Healthcare and Hospital Funding in 2015.
Scott, now Florida’s U.S. Senator, called for more transparency in health care costs, saying prices “should be up on a menu board, just like at Starbucks.”
The next year, Rep. Chris Sprowls and Sen. Rob Bradley, both Republicans, filed their own “health care transparency” bills.
The legislation passed and was signed into law by Scott to “ensure greater consumer access to health care price and quality information by requiring certain health care providers, insurers and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) to give that information to patients.”
Updated 4 p.m. — Gov. Ron DeSantis later Wednesday announced “multiple proposals to increase healthcare pricing transparency in Florida,” his office said in a statement.
“It is more important than ever for people to know exactly what they are paying for as healthcare costs continue to rise,” DeSantis said. “These proposals will greatly increase healthcare pricing transparency and restore power to the patients.”
DeSantis said he would support Renner’s bill.