Legislation introduced in the U.S. House would require more transparent disclosure of hospital charges. Reps. Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) and Gene Green (D-TX) sponsor H.R. 1326, which was referred to the Energy and Commerce Committee.

The lawmakers introduced a bill of the same name in May 2012, which was not acted on and died at the end of the year when the congressional session ended. The new Health Care Price Transparency Promotion Act of 2013 directs states to establish laws requiring hospitals to disclose their charges. Hospitals and insurers also must make pricing information available to the public and to provide estimates of out-of-pocket costs for services.

The American Hospital Association supports the legislation, saying it builds on mandatory or voluntary price transparency laws in 43 states. Text of the bill soon will be available at http://thomas.loc.gov.

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