Indiana is one of the most prominent states in the country in medical product manufacturing and manufacturing generally, as well as shipping and distribution. Yet our health care is some of the nation’s most expensive and is threatening Indiana’s thriving business sector.
Due in part to our relatively low corporate tax rate and generous property tax abatements, Indiana has become home to some of this country’s most innovative and prominent pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers.
Indiana also touts an exceptional transportation economy thanks to its central position in the U.S. and its streamlined transportation system.
Each year, 724 million tons of freight is transported through Indiana, making it the fifth most active state for commercial freight traffic.
While Indiana is a leader in manufacturing and distribution of medical products, our health care consistently ranks as one of the most expensive in the country, making health care increasingly unaffordable to Hoosier employers and individual consumers.
With such productivity in innovation and manufacturing within the health care sector, it’s disappointing that our state’s hospital rates are ranked seventh in the nation, according to the RAND 4.0 Hospital Transparency Study.
Indiana hospitals are the fourth most expensive in the country for inpatient services and sixth for outpatient services. In 2020, Hoosier employers paid almost three times the prices they paid Medicare for the same services, higher than all four surrounding states: Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky.
Yet Indiana physicians are reimbursed at one of the lowest rates in the nation.
These factors have caused Indiana employers and care providers to take their business to other states.
I came to the U.S. Senate to tackle the broken, expensive American health care system. From the beginning, I’ve preached that transparency is the key to competition, leading to greater access and quality of health care.
President Donald Trump made significant strides in infusing transparency into hospitals and big insurance through his Hospital Price Transparency and Transparency in Coverage rules.
I have a bill to codify his rules, called the Health Care PRICE Transparency Act, which would require basic transparency in hospital service pricing and insurer cost-sharing information.
I’m encouraged by the Biden administration’s enforcement of this rule, but as of February, only 14% of hospitals are complying with the price transparency rule, which went into effect January 2021.
It’s past time for hospitals across the country to embrace price transparency to bring down unnecessarily high medical costs for hardworking Hoosiers and other Americans.
Without visibility into prices, self-insured employers are not only unable to offer coverage plans that provide the most value to their employees, they’re also forced to bear the brunt of often high-priced care of their employees. This inhibits patient access to quality health care and hurts the economy.
It is critical that the hospital and insurance industries start embracing price and cost-sharing transparency. The lack of compliance with the Hospital Price Transparency rule by hospitals across the country, especially in Indiana, is disappointing.
Hoosiers need transparency to restore the state’s hospitable environment for business and entrepreneurialism.