We've been highly focused on the issue of surprise medical bills, one of the important drivers of debilitating medical debt. Now the issue is getting increased attention on Capitol Hill.

Senate Committee Action on Surprise Medical Bills

We’ve been highly focused on the issue of surprise medical bills, one of the important drivers of debilitating medical debt:

Now the issue is getting increased attention on Capitol Hill.

As NPR reported this week: “Surprise medical bills — those unexpected and often pricey bills patients face when they get care from a doctor or hospital that isn’t in their insurance network — are the health care problem du jour in Washington, with President Trump and congressional lawmakers from both sides of the aisle calling for action.”

“These policymakers agree on the need to take patients out of the middle of the fight over charges, but crafting a legislative solution will not be easy.”

The post includes a helpful “guide to the bills and what to watch for.”

Now Healthcare Dive reports that “Senate health committee takes on surprise bills, price transparency in legislative package.” The post notes:

  • “The leaders of the Senate HELP Committee on Thursday proposed a wide-ranging and ambitious package of healthcare bills, including measures addressing surprise medical billing, price transparency, interoperability, drug costs and public health.”
  • “One bill put forward would require commercial insurers to make claims data and expected out-of-pocket costs available to patients through application programming interfaces (APIs) and ensure that patients have full access to their electronic health records — in line with two proposed rules HHS released earlier this year.”
  • “Another provision bans gag clauses in contracts between providers and health plans that prevent the release of cost and quality information or de-identified claims data. It also would create a national all-payer claims database and designates a nonprofit, nongovernmental entity to study how to reduce healthcare costs.”

For more information on the issues surrounding medical debt, please contact RIP Medical Debt.