LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Activist and Academy-Award winning actress Susan Sarandon and Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award-winning and Academy-Award nominated actress Cynthia Erivo starred in a new public service announcement (PSA) during the Oscars titled “Power to the Patients” which focuses on increasing awareness that hospital prices are now a patient’s right prior to receiving care.
The PSA, which aired for the first time during the Academy Awards broadcast on Sunday, is part of a larger “Power to the Patients” movement announced in March which prominently features artwork by activist and acclaimed artist Shepard Fairey, aimed at increasing awareness and combatting hidden prices in healthcare. Following a new law at the start of 2021, hospitals must provide clear and upfront pricing to patients. The new law will reduce the cost of care for all Americans, as they can shop for the best quality care at the lowest price, controlling their medical and financial health for the first time.
“For far too long, hospitals across this nation have profited from concealing prices from patients. It’s our health. It’s our money to save. It’s our right to know hospital prices,” declares Susan Sarandon in the PSA.
“The current hospital system creates debt that we did not expect so therefore we could not prepare for. Prices that we could not compare because they were nowhere to be seen,” proclaims Cynthia Erivo in the PSA.
In addition to Sarandon, Erivo and Fairey, photographer Martin Schoeller, Boston Marathon bombing survivor Adrianne Haslet and artists Stan Herd, Michael McPheeters, Clark Hipolito, Gage Hamilton, Jamond Bullock, Devin Liston, Jaque Fragua, Cleo Barnett, MenaceResa, No Touching Ground, Ess McKee, Whitney Herrington, pianist Andrew Von Oeyen and conductor Emmanuel Villaume have joined the campaign.
Joining in the movement are brothers Kevin Morra and Paul J. Morra of Swift River Productions, creatives who partnered on the campaign. “At any moment, any one of us can become a patient and, most unfortunately, financial hardship caused through being in the healthcare system is not a unique experience. It’s a horrific reality, oftentimes with devastating consequences, affecting individuals and families in every region of our country. There are many issues Americans can disagree about, but taking better care of people facing a health crisis shouldn’t be one of them,” said Paul Morra.
As a result of hidden healthcare prices destroying the financial well-being of patients, particularly the most vulnerable Americans, the new law that this movement is built around allows patients and their families to understand the real financial obligations of their medical decisions upfront. Everyone has a story of being priced gouged or knows someone in their community who has faced financial devastation due to the hidden costs of hospital prices never before available to patients before receiving care. The PSA campaign will help bring awareness to this new rule and combat the lack of transparency and inconsistent pricing.
Shepard Fairey, who is a type one diabetic and whose wife has multiple sclerosis, says in the PSA, “I’m participating in this campaign because I’ve seen the devastation that the high cost of medical bills can create in people’s lives. When people need care, they’re not provided with the prices of that care upfront. This can leave people with tremendous bills or be a deterrent to them getting the care they need. There are laws on the books that mean that prices are now a patient’s right, but providers continue to get away with a lack of transparency and pricing that is not consistent. We have the right to know what our healthcare costs upfront.”
As part of this movement, “Power to the Patients,” murals are spreading across the U.S. to build awareness of the new law through the power of art created by Fairey. Public murals have been erected in cities across the country including Nashville, TN, Memphis, TN, Orlando, FL, New York, NY, Indianapolis, IN, Portland, OR, Greensboro, NC, Raleigh, NC, Los Angeles, CA, Seattle, WA, Detroit, MI, Clarksdale, MS, Lawrence, KS, St. Petersburg, FL and Albuquerque, NM with additional murals slated to appear in cities and towns throughout the nation including Dallas, TX, Birmingham, AL, and Denver, CO.
Additional information about the campaign can be found at powertothepatients.org.
About “Power to the Patients”
Doctors and nurses save lives, but the hidden prices of healthcare all too often end up destroying the financial well-being of their patients, especially for the most vulnerable. On January 1, 2021, a new healthcare rule mandates that all hospitals must finally publish their real prices online. This incredible breakthrough allows patients and their families an understanding of the real financial obligations of their medical decisions and even creates an opportunity for them to responsibly compare prices across hospitals. This is an extraordinary, life-changing development in healthcare for all Americans. For the first time in U.S. history, entering a hospital will not so easily lead to financial hardship as a result of price gouging or unexpected medical bills. Finally, patients can take care of themselves medically while taking control of their financial health. All Americans now have the right to see real prices before we receive care. Our Health. Our Money. Power to the Patients. Additional information at powertothepatients.org.