Letter: Unfair billing practices have to stop


Many Ohioans are feeling the financial strain caused by record high inflation last summer and continued high prices through this year. One area that saw some of the highest price increases was the health care industry. Increased prices in health care have far-reaching consequences and longer-term effects on our mental and financial health. Unfortunately, I am painfully aware of these high prices, and I know that it’s not sustainable for my family or for other families like mine.

I’ve undergone multiple medical procedures, so I have experience dealing with the billing system. However, none of my history prepared me for being charged more than I was expecting for medical care. Like so many other Ohioans, I have fallen victim to predatory practices such as unfair billing. This happens when large hospitals buy out independent offices and other facilities, and then raise the prices at their new facilities. Nothing has changed about the service, only the ownership of the facility.

This practice is incredibly hard on people like me who have received treatment or undergone surgery more than once, as well as those who suffer from chronic conditions – of which there is a high prevalence of multiple chronic conditions here in Ohio. In order to curb this issue, we need policies in place that promote fair billing and transparency in the health care industry. Luckily, our lawmakers in Washington have the opportunity to do something about this.

By supporting the Site-based Invoicing and Transparency Enhancement Act (SITE) in the Senate and the Facilitating Accountability in Reimbursements Act (FAIR) in the House, Ohio lawmakers would be protecting us from high medical costs and keeping transparency within the industry. Even though I’ve had my fair share of struggles with the health care system, I know this doesn’t have to be the norm.

We need leaders like Sen. Sherrod Brown to step up and support the SITE Act in the Senate and encourage their colleagues to follow in their footsteps. I don’t want my family or any other family to face the same high costs and surprise bills when it is entirely avoidable. I urge Sen. Brown and other Ohio congressional members to stand up for Ohioans’ health care rights and keep costs low by supporting the SITE Act and the FAIR Act.

Jennifer Johnson


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