SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS
On Aug. 9, 2006, Gov. Bob Taft signed into law legislation requiring hospitals to report additional pricing and quality
information to the Ohio Department of Health. The department will make the information available to the public upon
request and via a public Web site, if funding is allocated by the legislature in the future. The legislation also expands
previous requirements that hospitals make price information lists on certain services available to patients. OHA
supports the legislation as it was enacted, but only after the association brought about significant changes to the
legislation so that it was consistent with OHA’s Principles of Public Reporting of Data approved by the OHA Board of
Trustees in March 2006. OHA’s principles are the key five message points below.
1. Purchasers and consumers of health care should be informed.
Hospitals support educated, informed consumers and have submitted quality and pricing information to various
state and federal entities for decades.
Quality reports are just one tool for consumers, who should also talk with their physicians, friends and
families and check their health insurance coverage when making choices about their health care.
2. Public reporting systems should produce reliable information, not raw data.
As enacted, House Bill 197 permits the director of the Ohio Department of Health to choose meaningful
measures from trusted, existing sources, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Joint
Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and
limited measures from the National Quality Forum.
The original version of the bill, which required hospitals to report 700 million lines of patient billing data,
would have potentially provided consumers with unwieldy data.
3. The costs should not exceed the benefits.
As enacted, House Bill 197 incorporates trusted, existing sources of data already reported by hospitals
to state and federal entities and eliminates duplicative and costly reporting requirements included in
the initial version of the bill.
OHA was opposed to the original proposal because it required hospitals to report 700 million lines of
data at cost of $10 million per year for hospitals and $2 million per year for the Ohio Department of
4. A competitive market encourages the continual improvement of public reporting systems.
Offering consumers better access to available resources also encourages the information sources to
ensure they are offering accurate and useful information.
OHA created The Consumer’s Guide to Quality Health Care in Ohio, available online at
www.ohanet.org/portal/, to link Ohioans to publicly available health care quality and pricing
information, helping consumers make more informed health care decisions.
5. Public reporting systems should have the confidence of the users.
The quality measures chosen in House Bill 197 are risk-adjusted for severity to ensure consumers
have access to comparable data from hospital to hospital.
If transparency is good for hospitals, it is good for all providers.
OHA will encourage the legislature to expand these requirements to other health care providers as a
next step towards health care transparency.
Ohio’s 168 ambulatory surgical facilities are licensed by the Ohio Department of Health, but are not
currently required to report quality, price or patient safety data reported by Ohio hospitals.
To ensure hospital-reported data is shared with consumers in a timely fashion, OHA recommends the
Ohio General Assembly allocate funding to the Ohio Department of Health to create and maintain a
public Web site.
155 East Broad Street, Floor 15 Columbus, Ohio 43215-3620 www.ohanet.org 614.221.7614 614.221.4771 fax