Attorney Nicholas W. Hicks
Nicholas Hicks

Attorney Nicholas Hicks on Cuomo’s Healthcare Transparency Proposal in NY

According to Attorney Nicholas Hicks, New York is looking to lower costs and boost competition amongst healthcare providers.

New York’s Democratic Governor, Andrew Cuomo, recently proposed a plan that would create more transparency for medical costs. Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that the measure is focused around the idea of a website that would allow New Yorkers to compare prices and procedures across in-state hospitals.  Additionally, the site would offer advice to patients who were surprised by their final medical bills.

In a statement, Andrew Cuomo said that “New York has made tremendous progress protecting consumers from unreasonably expensive medical care.”

This measure was made in response to the rise of healthcare costs in recent years. According to Attorney Nicholas Hicks, New York residents currently do not have an efficient way to shop for hospitals, treatments, and physicians.  Sometimes people are unable to make informed decisions about their healthcare and providers take advantage. New York officials are looking for new ways to increase competition in the healthcare marketplace and lower prices.

Months before announcing the transparency proposal, Andrew Cuomo signed the Patient Protection Act. It prevents out-of-network providers from slamming patients with outrageously high out-of-pocket emergency room costs. Next, Andrew Cuomo plans to address the cost of prescriptions with a new plan that would put caps on insulin co-payments, allow the state to investigate drug manufacturers for price increases and allow an expert group to research a system to import Canadian drugs.

Attorney Nicholas Hicks believes the proposed measures would be advantageous to the State of New York. By providing more transparency on healthcare costs upfront, providers can improve patient relations and build trust. New York residents can also receive the level of care they need. When people fear hidden costs and high deductibles, they delay treatment or forgo it altogether.  Attorney Nicholas Hicks explains that when people know what to expect, they can make better and more timely decisions.

Although these solutions seem very simple and logical, Attorney Nicholas Hicks warns of possible complications to be aware of. Listed prices will benefit self-paying patients the most. For patients with healthcare plans, their rates will vary according to their coverage. Additionally, it can be nearly impossible to predict the price of an office visit before the doctor has seen the patient.

For example, a patient who goes to the doctor for treatment of a common cold may find out they are much sicker with an illness like pneumonia.  Attorney Nicholas Hicks goes on to explain that the patient will now face a much higher bill than expected due to needing more intensive care. It can be challenging to explain the situation to a sick and worried patient who feels like the provider is being shady about changing prices.  

Regardless, New York lawmakers are trying their best to address the issue. As new concerns arise, new solutions will be created to address them. Attorney Nicholas Hicks plans to keep his eye on the situation as it develops.

About Lawyer Nicholas Hicks:

Nicholas Hicks was rescued from NYC foster care at the age of 5 years old. Lawyer Nicholas Hicks attended both public and private schools where he eventually graduated from ECC, UB & UB Law School. He specializes in various areas of practice, including injury cases, debt elimination, criminal defense, divorce, child support, child custody, and more.

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