Sen. Rod Whittemore, R-Skowhegan, has been presented with the 2016 Healthcare Innovator Award by the Foundation for Government Accountability, according to a news release from the Senate Majority Office. He received the award for his leadership in promoting transparency and price shopping as a way to hold down the costs of healthcare.

Whittemore, who serves as chairman of the Insurance and Financial Services Committee, was the sponsor of LD 1305, “An Act To Encourage Health Insurance Consumers To Comparison Shop for Healthcare Procedures and Treatment,” and he advocated for the legislation over the two years of the 127th Legislature.

“I am honored to receive this award,” said Whittemore in the release. “We can’t ignore that healthcare costs are a burden on Maine families, and this measure was consumer-driven legislation aimed at benefitting everyone who receives medical care. I certainly plan to continue advocating for market-driven solutions to lower the cost of health care for Mainers.”

The legislation both encouraged greater transparency in healthcare costs and required a health insurance carrier to pay an enrollee 40 percent of the saved cost if an enrollee elects to receive healthcare services from a provider that cost less than the average cost for a particular admission, procedure, or service unless the savings is $50 or less.

While the legislation had broad support, it ultimately failed after not receiving the necessary votes for passage in the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.