Bill sent to Nixon requires hospitals to disclose cost estimates

A bill awaiting Gov. Jay Nixon’s approval would require Missouri hospitals to disclose cost estimates to patients within three business days.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. David Sater, R-Cassville, links hospital costs to 17 other measures related to healthcare, including a provision that would charge Medicaid patients for using the emergency room during a non-emergency. Another would allow doctors to charge those patients for missing an appointment. Patient advocates say the latter goes against federal law

Jen Bersdale, executive director of Missouri Health Care for All, said the parts of the bill that are particularly good include a provision to require hospitals and clinics to give patients an estimate for how much their care will cost if they ask for it. Opponents say such requiring estimates could be a burden for smaller providers.

Nixon has until mid-July to sign or veto the bill in full.

Read more: St. Louis Public Radio

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