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Help yourself -- and your neighbors!

January 31, 2014 J,

How to prepare for a very bad day…

ACTION ALERT

To all Arizona Health Care Consumers,

Thanks to the Direct Pay Price health care transparency reform bill that AFP-Arizona activists helped pass last year in the Arizona Legislature, you can now help yourself — and your friends, family members and neighbors — at the very same time!

Before Arizona passed this price transparency reform, health care consumers were at the mercy of hidden prices produced by the government-insurance-hospital cartel. If patients went into the hospital for emergencies — and often, even if they went in for elective procedures — it was nearly impossible for them to shop around in advance for the lowest prices. And when they got out of the hospital, they were often slapped with outrageously expensive bills.

Now, with the Direct Pay Price law in effect, you can prepare yourself in advance for a very bad day, and keep yourself from getting gouged by hidden prices. This will be especially important in 2014, as ObamaCare goes into effect and raises health plan deductibles and increases out-of-pocket costs for Arizona families. With that increased exposure, you may find yourself having to pay cash directly for hospital services — so you need to start shopping now.

Thanks to the Direct Pay Price reform, large medical facilities (over 50 beds) must provide cash prices for the 50 most common medical procedures. Facilities with fewer than 50 beds must provide cash prices for the 35 most common medical procedures.

As our friends at the Benjamin Rush Foundation explain:

“For the first time, Arizona requires that hospitals, doctors, urgent care centers, and imaging centers actually tell you the ‘direct pay’ price for their most common services. All you have to do is ask! The revolutionary, and unique, piece of the new Arizona law is that the direct pay price must be available to those with or without insurance. Getting direct pay price information, and having the information widely available can mean families save real money when they need to see a doctor.”

TAKE ACTION TODAY! Please call, email or write the three hospitals closest to you and ask that they send you their DIRECT PAY PRICES today — as REQUIRED BY LAW under Arizona Revised Statutes 36-437.

Here is a sample phone or email script:

“Pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes 36-437, I am requesting that you send me all of the direct pay price information that is required under the statute. There is no EMTALA (pronounced “Em – tall – uh”) issue at the time this request is being made. Please send the requested information in full to the following address [fill in your address]. Thank you for your prompt compliance. Sincerely, [your name]”

Of course, price is never the only factor when it comes to making health care decisions. But if your doctor tells you that the three hospitals nearest you are equal in quality, why not go to the most cost-effective one?

And please help your neighbors, too! When you get price lists from local hospitals, please send us those lists — or the links to the hospital web pages showing the direct pay prices. We will help to publicize those prices and thus do our part to generate competition that will drive those prices down even further. And if a hospital refuses to send you a list of prices, please tell us that: we will do our best to publicize that fact and shame them into complying with the law.

Our ground address is: Americans for Prosperity, One East Camelback Road, Suite 550, Phoenix, AZ 85012. Our email address is: infoAZ@afphq.org

For Liberty, Tom

Tom Jenney
Arizona Director
Americans for Prosperity
tjenney@afphq.org
(602) 478-0146

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