By Margarita Snegireva. California authorities introduced a Web site that allows all consumers to see the discounts U.S. hospitals offer their uninsured patients.
The site makes California the second state in the country, after New York , to give consumers a tool to shop and compare charity care or discount payment policies.
The law also requires the state to collect from each hospital copies of its charity care and discount payment policies by January 1, 2008 - and make them available to the public.
The new Web site launched Tuesday by the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development includes the policies, applications and a specific contact at each hospital for assistance.
Consumers can search www.oshpd.ca.gov/HID/Products/Hospitals/FairPricing/index.html by hospital name, address, city, county or zip code.