Carolina Journal reports on State Treasurer Dale Folwell pushing for price transparency in NC hospitals.

State Treasurer Dale Folwell wants the U.S. Department of Justice to require all North Carolina hospitals to be transparent in their pricing and recover excessive charges hospitals made to the State Health Plan. He said the N.C. Healthcare Association, which represents hospitals, wants the General Assembly to derail his cost-cutting reforms.

Folwell made those claims Monday, Nov. 26, in a press release alleging “illegal activity” by hospitals. He is calling on the U.S. and N.C. Departments of Justice to recoup what could be hundreds of millions of dollars in overpayments.

Folwell is embroiled in tense negotiations with the state’s major health care organizations as he attempts to stabilize spending on the State Health Plan, which costs more than state appropriations cover.

Folwell said the recent settlement of a civil antitrust lawsuit filed by the U.S. and N.C. Justice Departments against Atrium Health, formerly known as Carolinas Healthcare System, exposed costly practices for consumers, including shielding them from information about high-quality, cost-effective coverage.

“In the spirit of this settlement, I’m calling on all North Carolina hospitals to be transparent and to publish their pricing so consumers can make informed decisions regarding health care,” Folwell said.

Read more here. 

You can find the story on Forsyth County surgeon, Gajendra Singh, that challenged North Carolina’s CON laws in court here. He also says that hospitals are not transparent with costs and charge North Carolinians more than they should for services. Certificate of need (CON) restrictions keep competition away from hospitals, allowing them to increase prices.