5 balance billing legislative updates


As patients take on greater financial responsibility for their care, more states are making efforts to end balance billing — which often involves charging patients out-of-network rates for care provided at in-network facilities.

Here are five things to know about recent balance billing legislative efforts.

1. In Washington, lawmakers are taking up balance billing legislation during the 2018 regular session. Under House Bill 2114, facilities, providers and insurers would be required to disclose their network status, according to a KOMO report. The TV station reports the legislation also allows for arbitration and mediation when disputes arise, and "addresses … coverage at an out-of-network emergency department." The legislation was reintroduced Jan. 8, and as of Feb. 8, was with the House Rules Committee.

2. New Hampshire is also taking up balance billing this year via two measures. House bills 1643 and 1809 forbid "balance billing in health insurance for anesthesiology, radiology, emergency medicine or pathology services," according to the Live Free or Die Alliance. The legislative measures were introduced Jan. 3 and are due out of the House Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee March 1.

3. Oregon's balance billing law is slated to take effect March 1.The measure, House Bill 2339, passed the state legislature last year.

4. Colorado has proposed a bill to curb surprise costs from freestanding emergency rooms. Under the bill, freestanding ERs and urgent care centers would have to immediately reveal pricing to patients.

5. California implemented its balance billing law July 1.


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