Litigation

Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers v. State of Ohio

Date Filed: December 22, 2016
Status: Decided
District Court: Common Pleas Court of Williams County – No. 16 CI 128
Appellate Court: 6th Circuit No. WM-19-00
Nature of Suit: Legislation Challenge
Defendant Type: State
Plaintiff Type: Private
Court Document: https://www.bloomberglaw.com/document/X11DR8FD0000N?

Ohio’s Healthcare Price Transparency Law, passed in June 2015 (HB 52) by the Ohio Legislature, has been challenged by health care providers arguing that the law’s requirements are too broad and would delay patient care. The law requires providers to supply patients with a “good faith” estimate of how much non-emergency, elective health care services would cost individuals after accounting for health insurance. The price transparency law was scheduled to take effect in January 2017 but has been suspended from enforcement pending the legal challenge.

The Williams County Court of Common Pleas issued a temporary injunction against the law. In February 2020, the 6th Circuit affirmed the lower court’s summary judgment ruling and issued a permanent injunction, ruling that the law violated the Ohio Constitution’s one-subject rule which requires that no bill may contain more than one subject, which must be clearly stated in its title. Here, the original bill was intended to regulate and fund the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation, and the transparency provision was an “unnatural,” unrelated addition to the bill intended to cover another subject. Additionally, the court held the transparency provision also violated the Ohio Constitution’s three-reading rule, which requires every bill to be considered by each house on three different days. The court said the entire legislative history of that bill had been about workers compensation, and when it passed both the House and Senate, it contained no reference to health care price transparency. Then on June 25, 2015, with no hearings or prior introduction, the amendment was added with the price transparency act.

Attorney General David Yost’s office filed an appeal March 14, 2020.


Associated Legislation:

HB 52 – Ohio
Introduced:    Status: Enacted
[Enforcement suspended pending legal challenge] Healthcare Price Transparency Law: This law mandates providers to provide patients, before beginning treatment, with a “good faith” estimate of how much non-emergency, elective health care services would cost after …