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Wisconsin Statutes, Section 146.903 Hospital Disclosure of Information Regarding Health Care Charges
 and Quality

PDF Version of DQA 10-038  (PDF, 55 KB)

Date: December 17, 2010 -- DQA Memo 10-038
To: Hospitals HOSP 13
From: Otis Woods, Administrator
Division of Quality Assurance

Wisconsin Statues, Section 146.903 Hospital Disclosure of Information Regarding Health Care Charges and Quality

As many of you are aware, Governor Jim Doyle signed 2009 Wisconsin Act 146 into law on March 9, 2010, establishing requirements for hospitals, other health care providers and insurers to disclose certain information to consumers regarding costs for services and quality of services. The new law created section 146.903 of the Wisconsin Statutes and takes effect January 1, 2011.

The law requires hospitals to do all of the following:

  • Prepare a single document that lists the median billed charge and average allowable payment under Medicare and private, third party payers for the 75 most common inpatient stays and the 75 most common outpatient surgical procedures.

  • Upon request of a consumer, and at no cost, disclose the above information regarding charges.

  • Update the information regarding charges every calendar quarter.

  • For a hospital that submits data to a health care information organization, make available to the consumer with the information regarding charges, any public information reported by the health care information organization regarding the quality of health care services provided by the hospital compared to the quality of health care services provided by other hospitals that is relevant to a diagnosis related group or outpatient surgical procedure for which the hospital is required to list charge information.

  • Prominently display in an area of the hospital that is most commonly frequented by consumers a statement informing consumers that they have the right to receive information regarding charges and quality of health care services provided by the hospital. The statement shall include a good faith estimate from their insurers or self-insured health care plan of the consumers total out-of-pocket cost according to the consumers benefit terms for a specified service in the geographic region in which the service is provided.

The Department of Health Services has created a website that contains links to the complete text of section 146.903 of the Wisconsin Statutes, a summary of the new law prepared by the Wisconsin Legislative Council and the Department's plan for implementing the new law. The website also contains a section called Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs). The site is a good resource for answers to the most common questions the Department has received. To view the website, visit: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/2009wisact146/index.htm

The Division of Quality Assurance is sending this information to all hospitals and asking all hospital administrators to inform their staff of their responsibilities under the new law.

The complete text of the new law can be found at the following link: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/2009/data/acts/09Act146.pdf

Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you have any question about this information, please contact Ann Hansen, Bureau of Health Services, at (608) 266-0297 or at Ann.Hansen@wisconsin.gov

 

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Last Updated: September 30, 2011