Taking on rising health care costs requires a renewed commitment to cleaning up what is holding back an affordable health care system. Nevada Senator Catherine Cortez Masto and her colleagues in the Senate are considering a new piece of legislation that reflects this fresh approach. The Site-based Invoicing and Transparency Enhancement Act (SITE) is a fair billing proposal that aims to bring down costs for patients and help relieve some of the health care fiscal burden on government taxpayers.
Under current rules, large corporate hospital owners can charge higher prices for care that is delivered in an off-site doctor’s office. And as more and more independent physician practices are bought up by these corporate owners, “hospital consolidation continues to boost costs, narrow access, and impact care quality,” according to experts at the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. Site-neutral payment reform legislation puts an end to this practice, improves access to affordable care, and ensures that patients pay lower health care costs.
Even small businesses benefit. The SITE Act also lowers the burden on these businesses that are paying rising prices for employee health care benefits. By reducing health insurance costs for small businesses, this fair billing legislation saves money for entrepreneurs and allows them to focus on expanding their businesses and stimulating the local economy instead of worrying about making ends meet.
Nevadans are particularly concerned about the rising cost of health care. Last year, a staggering 65 percent experienced at least one health care affordability burden when compared to the previous year. Higher costs based on unnecessary markups are a burden Nevada families shouldn’t be forced to face.
Unfair billing has an impact across the country, too, by pushing health care costs further out of control and expanding the burden on taxpayers. If enacted, site-neutral proposals can help fix the problem have the potential to reduce total national health expenditures by $458 billion. These proposals could also bring down commercial premiums by $386 billion.
We all lose out if Congress does not pass the SITE Act. Unfair bills and burdensome pricing put unnecessary weight on consumers and is an irresponsible use of government funds. Nevada’s communities are being crushed by the burden of medical debt and finances. This legislation would bring impactful changes that would help families struggling with their medical expenses find some relief.
I strongly urge Senator Cortez Masto to support this bill to help reduce costs for families, promote responsible government spending and ensure that Nevadans get the high-quality care they need at a price they can afford.