Indiana lawmakers to tackle health costs: The Journal Gazette

Indiana State Capitol Building

“High health care costs in Indiana have caught the eye of Republican legislative leaders, who plan to tackle the issue during the 2020 session,” Niki Kelly writes in The Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne, Ind.  “Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray called the issue an economic development problem because employers are paying a large part of those costs. He wants to act before it become a competitive disadvantage. ‘We are going to take a hard look at that – with beginning concepts,’ he said at a recent Indiana Chamber of Commerce session preview. But he cautioned ‘we are not going to solve it’ with the first swing at the problem. Several interim study committees have forwarded recommendations on the topic after working on it this past summer. House Speaker Brian Bosma said his team is pursuing two primary takes on the issue – a transparency portal for consumers, insurers and medical professionals; and further protections against so-called surprise billing. He said Hoosiers are paying wildly divergent costs on procedures such as a knee replacement and his team hopes to mitigate the problem. Earlier this year, Rand Corp. produced a 60-page study that compared prices private health insurance plans paid to almost 1,600 hospitals in 25 states from 2015 to 2017. The study ranks Indiana highest for charging the most. Pricing information was gathered from participating insurance companies, self-insured employers and state-based all-payer claims databases. Indiana doesn’t have any of the latter. Rankings were determined by comparing prices with Medicare reimbursement rates.” Niki Kelly, “Lawmakers to Tackle Health Costs,” The Journal Gazette.