Illinois to post ambulatory surgery rates online

My home state, Illinois, is joining the growing list of states posting costs of various elective medical procedures online.

This week, Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a bill that will require ambulatory surgery centers and hospital outpatient facilities by 2007 to report how often they perform 30 specific procedures and what they charge for each service. The Illinois Department of Public Health will post the data on its Web site.

The law states that department must collect the data from “claims and encounter data according to uniform electronic data element formats as required under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).”

Could it be that someone actually is taking the HIPAA transaction regulations seriously?

Read the press release on the Illinois law from the governor’s office here.

Read the Chicago Tribune’s story here (but hurry, because these stories don’t stay free for more than a week unless you subscribe to the print edition).