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Maine institutes price transparency laws, ASCs & hospitals to reveal costs

Today, two new state laws that aim to inject transparency and drive consumerism in healthcare will take effect in Maine, according to a Bangor Daily News report.

One law will require hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers to provide the average charge for any service or procedure on request. Facilities will also have to post notice of this information's availability.

A second law will require healthcare providers to gather a list of their most common procedures, anything performed more than 50 times a year and the price set for uninsured patients. Providers must inform and give patients the list upon request.

Governor Paul LePage vetoed the bill in April, but he was overridden by lawmakers.

Maine, in comparison to the rest of the United States, is a leader in price transparency. In March, the Catalyst for Payment Reform and the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute gave each state a grade based on how transparency of health pricing. The majority of states, 45, received a failing grade and none received an "A." Maine was one of two states to receive a "B" grade.

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