Cost disclosure to health care providers.
(1) The legislature finds that the spiraling costs of health care continue to surmount efforts to contain them, increasing at approximately twice the inflationary rate. The causes of this phenomenon are complex. By making physicians and other health care providers with hospital admitting privileges more aware of the cost consequences of health care services for consumers, these providers may be inclined to exercise more restraint in providing only the most relevant and cost-beneficial hospital services, with a potential for reducing the utilization of those services. The requirement of the hospital to inform physicians and other health care providers of the charges of the health care services that they order may have a positive effect on containing health costs. Further, the option of the physician or other health care provider to inform the patient of these charges may strengthen the necessary dialogue in the provider-patient relationship that tends to be diminished by intervening third-party payers.
(2) The chief executive officer of a hospital licensed under this chapter and the superintendent of a state hospital shall establish and maintain a procedure for disclosing to physicians and other health care providers with admitting privileges the charges of all health care services ordered for their patients. Copies of hospital charges shall be made available to any physician and/or other health care provider ordering care in hospital inpatient/outpatient services. The physician and/or other health care provider may inform the patient of these charges and may specifically review them. Hospitals are also directed to study methods for making daily charges available to prescribing physicians through the use of interactive software and/or computerized information thereby allowing physicians and other health care providers to review not only the costs of present and past services but also future contemplated costs for additional diagnostic studies and therapeutic medications.
[1993 c 492 § 265.]
| Findings--Intent -- 1993 c 492: See notes following RCW 43.20.050.|
Short title -- Severability -- Savings -- Captions not law -- Reservation of legislative power -- Effective dates -- 1993 c 492: See RCW 43.72.910 through 43.72.915.