Insurers, employers and labor unions oppose the method, but providers favor it. With so many powerful stakeholders involved, lawmakers are being bombarded with opinions on the matter. Meanwhile, at the state level, Kansas is also taking aim at surprise medical costs.
Modern Healthcare: House Committee Advances Provider-Friendly Surprise Billing Fix
The House Ways & Means Committee on Wednesday advanced a bill that would ban balance billing using an arbitration process favored by hospitals and specialty physician groups but opposed by insurers, employers and labor unions. The Ways & Means Committee is the last of three House panels with jurisdiction over surprise billing to mark up legislation addressing the issue, which lawmakers are aiming to resolve before a deadline to fund expiring Medicare and Medicaid programs on May 22. (Cohrs, 2/12)
KCUR: Surprise Medical Bills Leave Kansans Struggling To Pay. Lawmakers Say These Ideas Would Help
A flurry of proposals in the Kansas Statehouse this session take aim at rising medical costs, including one that may be the state’s first attempt to rein in “surprise bills.” Republican Sen. Richard Hilderbrand has introduced two price-transparency proposals and Democratic Sen. Barbara Bollier unveiled a plan to join 28 other states with consumer protection laws against such bills.Surprise bills come, for example, when you’re being treated in-network but an out-of-network medical professional gets involved. To collect more than your insurer will pay, the out-of-network providers send you extra bills directly. (Llopis-Jepsen, 2/13)
And in related news —
Boston Globe: So How Much Would That Bill Cost? New Tufts Center Wants To Provide The Answer
Tufts University is launching a nonpartisan center to provide real-time analysis of legislation, state policies, and ballot questions, filling what its director called a void for state lawmakers and the public alike. The Center for State Policy Analysis’s goal is to provide an independent look into the impact of Massachusetts policy making — from potential costs to comparisons to elsewhere in the country — similar to the role filled in Washington by the independent Congressional Budget Office. (Stout, 2/13)
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