“The Affordable Care Act is just the first step to healthcare reform,” said Felisa Hagins, Political Director of SEIU Local 49. “These ballot measures will improve quality of healthcare, increase access to care, and make healthcare more affordable for all Oregonians.”
The five measures include:
- Quality Transparency – Requires hospitals to make quality of care information accessible to the public
- Pricing Transparency – Requires hospitals to post information that enables patients to compare hospital prices
- Reasonable Rates – Requires uniform pricing & reasonable rates for hospital services
- Minimum Charity Care For Non-Profit Hospitals – Requires non-profit, tax-exempt hospitals to provide charity care to those who need it most
- Caps On Executive Compensation – Caps compensation for non-profit, hospital executives, relative to their lowest-paid employees.
Currently, hospitals in the same community often charge significantly different prices for similar procedures. Hospitals also commonly charge different prices depending on the method of payment. For instance, a patient insured by a commercial insurance provider may be charged a different price for the same procedure than a Medicaid recipient.
“Consumers are able to comparison shop for everything from groceries to phones to cars. Oregonians should be able to compare hospitals based upon the prices they charge,” said Bryan Leeder, a janitor at Lloyd Center and chief petitioner for the measure to require hospitals to post charges for common procedures.
Act Now for a Healthy Oregon wants to bring transparency to this system and make affordable healthcare more accessible. One of the measures would require uniform pricing for patient services and also cap the profit margin for services at 30% over the hospital’s cost to provide the service.
“For communities across this state, our hospitals have a responsibility at every level to provide all Oregonians quality care they can afford”, said Julie Markiewicz, Vice President of Healthcare at SEIU Local 49.
SEIU played a supportive role in passage of the Affordable Care Act and is helping Oregonians enroll for health insurance under Cover Oregon. Act Now for a Healthy Oregon is designed to build upon momentum and awareness of the Affordable Care Act to strengthen and improve healthcare in Oregon.
More information about the measures is available here.