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Senator Hassan Highlights Her Bipartisan Bill to Lower Health Care Costs for Patients and Save Billions in Taxpayer Dollars

WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) today highlighted her bipartisan Site-based Invoicing and Transparency Enhancement (SITE) Act with Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) and John Kennedy (R-LA) during an event hosted by the Georgetown University Center on Health Insurance Reforms. Senator Hassan and Braun’s bill would help to prevent hospital systems from charging hospital facility fees for care received at outpatient facilities located away from the hospital – like a primary care office. The bill could also save taxpayers close to $40 billion over the next decade and would reinvest those savings to strengthen the health care workforce.

Excerpts from Senator Hassan’s remarks:

“I want to take a moment right now to talk about the need for us to end unfair hospital facility fees so that we can bring down health care costs, we can save taxpayers and employers money, and we can make health care more accessible for more Americans.

“Too often, patients are forced into difficult, even heartbreaking, decisions between making ends meet and getting lifesaving treatments or medications.

“One of the ways that we can bring down costs is by ending the practice of allowing hospitals to charge patients hospital facility fees when the patients are receiving care in places other than the actual hospital, often away from the hospital’s campus – for instance at outpatient clinics or in primary care offices. This trend has been driving costs higher because many hospitals have been buying community-based independent physician practices, including primary care practices. As a result, many patients have found that even though they are visiting the same facility, receiving the same treatments, or even seeing the same doctor as before, their bills have doubled or more overnight – all because a hospital purchased the practice and started charging fees on the grounds since the practice is a now a part of a hospital facility.

“This burdens both patients and, frequently, their employers with steep increases in charges for basic services with no change in the quality of care. These dramatic price increases can prevent patients from getting the care that they need or makes them less inclined to book routine preventive care appointments that are critical to catching or treating illnesses early. We need to protect patients by closing the loophole that hospitals are exploiting and requiring the type of transparency that will end this behavior.

“I am working in the Senate with leaders from both parties – including my colleague, Republican Senator Mike Braun – to pass bipartisan legislation to protect patients from unfair fees.

“Both Democrats and Republicans are united in this effort because it is a fair, commonsense way to bring down costs for patients, employers, and taxpayers, and to ensure that more Americans can get the care that they need.”

This bipartisan legislation is part of Senator Hassan’s ongoing efforts to lower health care and prescription drug costs for Americans. Senator Hassan led successful bipartisan efforts to help eliminate surprise medical billing, which has prevented at least 9 million surprise bills. Last year’s government funding bill, which is now law, also included three bipartisan measures backed by Senator Hassan to increase access to generic and biosimilar medications. Additionally, the Inflation Reduction Act included a number of key provisions that Senator Hassan pushed for to take on Big Pharma and address the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs, including allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices – which will bring down the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries and help drive down prices across the board.