An Act To Increase the Transparency of Charges and Expenses of Hospitals That Receive State Funding
Sec. A-1. 22 MRSA §8712, sub-§5 is enacted to read:
Sec. A-2. 24-A MRSA §2736, sub-§5 is enacted to read:
Sec. B-1. Commission established. Notwithstanding Joint Rule 353, the Commission to Study Transparency, Costs and Accountability of Health Care System Financing, referred to in this Part as "the commission," is established.
1. Membership. The commission consists of 11 members appointed as follows. The membership of the commission must reflect the geographic diversity of the State. The President of the Senate shall appoint the chair from among the membership. Members serve as volunteers and without compensation or reimbursement for expenses. The membership consists of the following persons:
2. Appointments; convening. All appointments must be made no later than 30 days following the effective date of this section. The appointing authorities shall notify the Executive Director of the Legislative Council once all appointments have been completed. When the appointment of all members has been completed, the chair shall call and convene the first meeting of the commission. If 30 days or more after the effective date of this section a majority of but not all appointments have been made, the chair may request authority and the Legislative Council may grant authority for the commission to meet and conduct its business.
3. Duties. The commission shall:
4. Staff assistance. The Legislative Council shall provide staffing services to the commission except that the Legislative Council staff support is not authorized when the Legislature is in regular or special session. The commission may invite the Department of Health and Human Services, the Maine Health Data Organization, the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Bureau of Insurance and other agencies of State Government to provide additional staff support or assistance to the commission. In addition, the commission may contract for administrative, professional and clerical services if funding permits.
5. Report. The commission shall submit a report and any suggested legislation for presentation to the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services and the Joint Standing Committee on Insurance and Financial Services no later than December 4, 2013.
6. Data. The commission may solicit health care cost data and information from both the public and private sectors to help inform the commission's work, including, but not limited to, the data and information of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Maine Health Data Organization, a statewide health care management association, a statewide hospital association and a statewide public health association.
7. Outside funding for commission activities. The commission may seek outside funds to provide staff support and consulting or other services to carry out the duties and requirements of the commission. Contributions to support the work of the commission may not be accepted from any party having a pecuniary or other vested interest in the outcome of the matters being studied. A person, other than a state agency, desiring to make a financial or in-kind contribution shall certify to the Legislative Council that the person has no pecuniary or other vested interest in the outcome of the commission's activities. Such a certification must be made in the manner prescribed by the Legislative Council. All contributions are subject to approval by the Legislative Council. All funds accepted must be forwarded to the Executive Director of the Legislative Council along with an accounting record that includes the amount of the funds, the date the funds were received, from whom the funds were received and the purpose of and any limitation on the use of the funds. The Executive Director of the Legislative Council shall administer any funds received by the commission.
Part A of this bill requires the Maine Health Data Organization to conduct an annual study of hospital financial data, to contract with an independent organization to analyze this data and to present the data and analysis in a format that is easily understood by the average consumer beginning in 2014. Part A also requires that the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, Bureau of Insurance consider the analysis as part of the review process for health insurance rates.
Part B of the bill establishes the Commission to Study Transparency, Costs and Accountability of Health Care System Financing. The commission is comprised of 11 members appointed by the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House to evaluate current data reported by hospitals and health care facilities relating to charges, revenue and other financial data. The commission will make recommendations about how to standardize financial reporting about health care costs and the quality of health care services to enhance transparency to the public. The commission must also make recommendations to reduce health care costs, including the development of global budgets, accountable care organizations and other cost containment mechanisms.