Lapid refiles bill seeking medical bill transparency for patients

Lapid refiles bill seeking medical bill transparency for patients

By Ernie Reyes

Sen. Lito Lapid (UNTV courtesy)

MANILA — Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid has re-filed his bill seeking to enhance the patients’ right to medical expense transparency, allowing them to make fully informed decisions about the quality of healthcare that they want and need by giving them access to information such as price and quality of service in advance.

Lapid maintained that the Medical Transparency Act is one of his top priority measures in the 19th Congress as this bill will help patients to choose the healthcare that is best suited for them.

Furthermore, he explained that this bill urges hospitals and healthcare providers to be more transparent in informing patients about the actual prices of their services, thus, preventing unexpected out-of-pocket costs for items or services before they receive care.

“Sa pagpasok ng bagong Kongreso, isa pa rin sa ating prayoridad na isinusulong ang pagkakaroon ng akses ng ating mga kababayan sa dekalidad at abot-kayang pagpapagamot at check-up upang sila ay makaiwas sa mga ‘surprise billing’. Muli po nating hinihiling na isapubliko ng mga ospital at healthcare providers ang presyo ng kanilang mga serbisyo upang makapili ng maayos ang ating mga kababayan kung saan sila magpapagamot at nang hindi sila masusurpresa sa bayarin,” Lapid said.

Furthermore, Pinuno’s proposed measure also seeks to eliminate unnecessary barriers to price and quality transparency; increase the availability of meaningful price and quality information to patients; to enhance patients’ control over their own healthcare resources, including health insurance coverage.

The bill also states that the Secretary of Health shall craft regulations consistent with applicable law, to require hospitals to publicly post standard charge information. This will include charges and information based on negotiated rates for common items and services, in an easy-to-understand, consumer-friendly, and machine-readable format.

“Sa ilalalim ng panukalang ito, layunin nating maging pro-aktibo ang ating mga ospital at healthcare providers sa pagbibigay alam sa publiko kung magkano mismo ang kanilang kailangang bayaran para sa mga serbisyo, gamot, at iba pang mga bayarin. Kalakip ng panukalang ito, hinihimok rin natin ang mga ospital at healthcare providers na magbigay ng update sa publiko kung may mga pagbabago sa mga impormasyong ito,” Lapid explained.

“Kasama rin sa ating itinutulak sa panukalang batas na ito ang pagkakaroon ng transparency sa health insurance coverage kung saan ang mga Kalihim ng Health at Finance ay magkasamang magi-issue ng regulations na inuubliga ang mga healthcare providers, health insurance issuers, at mga self-insured groups na magbigay ng health plans upang magkaroon ng mas mabilis at maayos na akses ang ating mga kababayan sa nararapat na impormasyon ukol sa mga out-of-pocket costs para sa mga bagay o serbisyo bago pa man sila makatanggap ng mga ito,” he added. (ai/mtvn)

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