In the Press
It’s certainly a way the judge could rule in favor of the hospital groups without looking necessarily like he’s ruling in favor of the hospital groups, said Jaime King, an associate dean and law professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.
But striking a compromise like that would allow insurers to change their pricing structure and focus on copays to avoid having to disclose their negotiated rates, King said. Copays are fixed and set by contracts, so disclosing the negotiated rate wouldn’t impact a patient’s cost-sharing, she said.
The hospital groups are supposed to “find alternatives that are more palatable to their organizations and their members than what is being proposed here, but I think they are doing it because it allows them to keep hiding their negotiated health-care prices,” she added.
“Generally when the court is asked to make decisions in specific cases, they tend to not go to constitutional issues unless they absolutely have to,” King said. “I would be surprised if they end up holding this is a full violation of the First Amendment.”