Workers Comp Zone


One of California’s largest unions, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, is circulating two healthcare initiatives, both aimed at California hospitals.

One is called the Fair Healthcare Pricing Act of 2012, the other the Charity Care Act of 2012.

The latter, according to the SEIU webiste would:
“Sets the minimum level of charity care at 5 percent of patient revenue that nonprofit hospitals must spend on healthcare for the needy in exchange for not paying federal, state and local taxes. Nonprofit hospitals (about three-quarters of California hospitals) are charitable organizations and in exchange for their tax exempt status they have to provide charity care, but there is no minimum and they do not provide a sufficient amount. This would infuse millions of dollars for healthcare and preventive services into low-income communities and is more affordable than costly emergency room care.”

According to the SEIU website, the Fair Healthcare Pricing Act of 2012:
“Prohibits hospitals from charging more than 25 percent above the actual cost of providing patient care. On average, California hospitals charge 450 percent, and as much as 1,000 percent, more than the actual cost of providing care when they treat patients in their facilities. Insurance companies and the uninsured are often left to deal with vastly inflated bills that drive up the cost of healthcare for everyone.”

If it gathers sufficient signatures and if it prevailed at the ballot box, what effect would the fair Healthcare Pricing Act of 2012 have on workers’ comp medical treatment costs? Would hospital costs in workers comp decrease significantly?

Any readers with special expertise in hospital costs/hospital pricing are invited to e-mail the blog at [email protected] with their observations.

Here is a link to the text of the pricing initiative: … ricing.pdf

The initiative is already catching some flak. Kaiser and Dignity Healthcare (formerly Catholic Healthcare West) would be exempted, as would be public hospitals. Here is a a piece from the Los Angeles Times by Michael J. Mishak which analyzes some of the controversy over why certain hospital chains are exempted: … rint.story

Julius Young

Category: Political developments