Calif. 'Surprise Billing' Law Could Jeopardize Access To Care

Law360 (June 13, 2019, 2:28 PM EDT) -- Current legislation pending in California, Assembly Bill 1611, aims to prevent patients from receiving “surprise” bills from out-of-network hospitals after the patients receive emergency and post-emergency services. AB 1611 has momentum, having passed out of California’s state Assembly in late May. It’s now before the state Senate.

California hospitals actually prefer receiving payments directly from health plans, and support limiting patient liability as well as removing patients from the middle of disputes between hospitals and health plans regarding payment issues.

The problem with the current proposed legislation is that it creates a default rate that removes the incentive for commercial health...

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