Mayor Adams Boosts Health Care Pricing Transparency With New Legislation

June 24, 2023

New York City Mayor Eric Adams today signed Intro. 844-A to increase health care and hospital price transparency.

Doing this by allowing New Yorkers to compare costs charged by New York City hospitals for the same service. Intro. 844-A — passed unanimously by the New York City Council — also establishes the nation’s first Office of Health Care Accountability to examine health care and hospital pricing practices and make it easier for New Yorkers to know how much health care costs.

“Health care is a human right, not a privilege, and this includes ensuring that there is cost transparency in our health care system,” said Mayor Adams. “New Yorkers shouldn’t have to break the bank to get the health care they need, and Intro. 844-A will help ensure that New Yorkers have all the information they need to stay healthy and get the care they deserve.”

“Public health can only succeed when we have the trust of the people we serve,” said New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. “Transparency — especially about costs and financial impacts to New Yorkers — is necessary to build trust. This initiative will make our system more accountable, more transparent, and more trustworthy, and it will make our city more healthy.”

 “The Healthcare Accountability and Consumer Protection Act will revolutionize healthcare in New York City by bringing transparency to prices and empowering New Yorkers with the information they deserve and make New York City the first city in the nation to have such an office” said New York City Councilmember Julie Menin. “With this legislation, we will establish an Office of Healthcare Accountability to finally uncover the hidden costs and expose the price gouging that has plagued our healthcare system for far too long. We cannot allow exorbitant healthcare costs to burden our families, businesses, and city government any longer. We have seen the positive impact of price transparency measures in other states, and it is time for New York City to curb excessive healthcare prices which currently cost the city $11 billion or ten percent of our city budget. Thank you to Mayor Eric Adams for signing this vital legislation into law and to the incredible labor coalition comprising 32BJ, DC 37 and others supporting this bill which will set a precedent across the nation that price transparency in the health care sector can be realized.”

“Creating the county’s first ever municipal office specifically dedicated to a data-driven approach to delivering health care accountability and affordability is truly a remarkable achievement,” said Manny Pastreich, president, 32BJ SEIU. “New York City is setting a national example to ensure that workers, businesses, and even city government itself has the information needed to make health care more accessible and affordable for all. Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Eric Adams and the work of Julie Menin and the City Council, this office can be a real game-changer for all those New Yorkers struggling to keep up with the escalating costs of quality health care.”

“Today is a signal to hospital executives that they can no longer get away with outrageous billing practices while our members, many of whom get paid little to work for the very hospital systems this bill targets, take on the undue pressure of skyrocketing healthcare costs,” said Henry Garrido, executive director, District Council 37. “This is a great step toward tackling systemic disparities in pricing for medical services and making long-term changes to lessen the burden on working families. Thank you to Councilmember Menin for your leadership in sponsoring the Healthcare Accountability and Consumer Protection Act and to Mayor Adams for signing it into law.”

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Intro 844-A — sponsored by Councilmember Menin — establishes the Office of Health Care Accountability to provide recommendations related to health care and hospital costs, analyze expenditures on health care costs for city employees, provide information relating to the costs of hospital procedures on its website, convene stakeholders to examine health care costs, and collect and make available hospital financial documents.

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