Alaskans are able to make more cost-effective health care decisions now that price transparency regulations approved by the Alaska Legislature are in place.
The law, enacted through Senate Bill 105 in 2018, took full effect on December 20, 2020. Providers and facilities are now required by law to list their most commonly provided services and the undiscounted price for those services under the measure sponsored by Rep. Ivy Spohnholz.
PEHT worked with Rep. Spohnholz on the bill and is grateful for her efforts and those of Sen. David Wilson and Sen. Cathy Giessel for seeing this important legislation adopted.
Alaskans will be guaranteed the right to know how much health care procedures and services cost in advance of treatment rather than when they receive a bill after treatments are performed.
The undiscounted price is the cost of a service before agreements are made between insurance companies and the facility. The transparency measure also ensures that Alaskans can request a good faith estimate from their health care providers for procedures and services before receiving care.
The law says that if a facility or provider fails to post the prices of the most commonly performed services or is not willing to provide an estimate, Alaskans can file a complaint with the Department of Health and Social Services for investigation and potential enforcement action. Complaints can be directed to DHSSpricereporting@alaska.gov.
If the health department determines that a health care provider has failed to comply with the price transparency law, a warning may be issued. If the warning does not result in compliance, the department may assess a fine of $100 a day for each day of noncompliance, up to the $10,000 ceiling set by law.