Billing for hospital rooms: the obligation to inform citizens adequately
After receiving several complaints about billing for hospital rooms, the Québec Ombudsman intervened. In its report, it spoke out against the lack of consistency and the gaps in the information given to patients or their representatives. It also was critical that current rules are no longer adapted to what really happens in hospitals today.
It saw that people are not properly informed about the choices that are really available (ward, semi-private room with two beds, private room). In addition, the fees for the same kind of room are not invoiced the same way from one hospital to another, and even from one person to another within the same hospital.
In its report, the Québec Ombudsman made recommendations to the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux aimed in particular at amending the Regulation, and, meanwhile, at pushing for directives to the institutions so that:
- complete and adequate information is given to users in order for them to make an informed decision;
- institutions stop billing for rooms that correspond to the basic type of room offered in the unit where the person is hospitalized;
- institutions do not bill for rooms that are medically necessary.
To read excerpts from the report: Billing for hospital rooms: the obligation to inform citizens adequately (PDF, 115 KiB)
Press release : Hospitals: equalities in billing for rooms