Ge Bai of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics at Washington and Lee University studied the 2006 law’s impact on protecting uninsured patients from paying hospitals’ full, undiscounted prices. She found that the price actually paid by uninsured patients shrank from 6 percent higher than Medicare prices in 2004 to 68 percent lower in 2012, and that the amount hospitals actually collected from uninsured patients for every dollar charged dropped from 32 cents in 2004 to 11 cents in 2012.
Although hospitals have been increasingly less able to collect from uninsured patients since the passage of the law, they have raised the proportion of services provided to them. The author says that the effect of the law could offer lessons to Congress and state legislatures seeking to similarly protect financially vulnerable patients.
Study: California’s Hospital Fair Pricing Act Reduced The Prices Actually Paid By Uninsured Patients, Ge Bai, Health Affairs, doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2014.1072, published January 2015.
Source: Health Affairs