CA Hearing Today on Health Care Costs Highlights Need For Additional Action

Today, the California Assembly Health Committee will hold a hearing that will feature numerous experts on the high-profile issue of health care costs, including those drivers that lead to higher health prices, and potential options for controlling cost increases. Among the topics will be the setting up of a new Health Payments Database, authorized in legislation this year, to better track health cost and prices throughout California's health system. 
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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 27, 2020

CONTACT:

Anthony Wright, Executive Director, Health Access California, awright@health-access.org, 916-870-4782

Yvonne Vasquez, Communications Associate, yvasquez@health-access.org, 916-407-7078

HAPPENING TODAY: CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY TO HIGHLIGHT ONGOING NEED TO CONTROL HEALTH COSTS

This afternoon, the Assembly Health Committee will hear issues regarding the drivers of high health care costs, the tracking of cost and price data, including the setting up of a new Health Payments Database passed this year, and the options for controlling health care costs–a potential preview of next year’s efforts.

SACRAMENTO, CA—Today, the California Assembly Health Committee will hold a hearing that will feature numerous experts on the high-profile issue of health care costs, including those drivers that lead to higher health prices, and potential options for controlling cost increases. Among the topics will be the setting up of a new Health Payments Database, authorized in legislation this year, to better track health cost and prices throughout California’s health system.

“Californians continue to be concerned about health care, especially including access and affordability. While California has taken steps to prevent prices and premiums from going up more, including setting up a database to better track health costs, quality, and equity, there’s much more that is needed to help Californians with their health costs.” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition, and a member of the Advisory Committee for the Health Payments Database.

“Next year, California legislators should revisit proposals to place more oversight on the health industry, and especially the mergers and consolidation that allows some hospitals and providers to impose inflated prices that pump up our premiums. California needs an Office of Health Care Affordability that sets enforceable targets for the health industry on cost, quality, and equity. Additional state oversight over California’s large health care systems can help to ensure access to affordable health care choices during a time when Californians need it the most”

“As our health care system transforms under our feet to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, California must enact critical oversight and cost accountability measures to protect consumers and ensure the system’s sustainability. Left unchecked, the pandemic could exacerbate consolidation and other trends that lead to higher health care costs and reduced access for Californians.”

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