South Dakota's governor was expected to sign a bill that would require hospitals to publicly release median charges for their 25 most common DRGs. The bill, supported by the state hospital association, passed the state House 58-12 today and the state Senate 32-2 earlier this month. The American Hospital Association said it doesn't track how many states have similar laws; however, several state hospital associations, including Colorado and Wisconsin, voluntarily post hospital charges. State Sen. Tom Dempster, the bill's sponsor, said the bill was intended to help consumers shop for better prices. Critics contend that hospital charges differ by physician and that South Dakota hospitals are too far apart geographically for patients to have much choice in facilities. -- by Joseph Mantone
S.D. likely to make hospitals publish charges
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