California lawmakers propose law to end surprise ER bills

California lawmakers have introduced legislation to protect patients from surprise ER medical bills, according to local television station KSBY.

The legislation aims to address situations where emergency patients are taken by ambulance to hospitals that are not in their insurer network, leaving them with medical bills significantly higher than what they expect.

Under the bill, California hospitals would be prohibited from charging emergency room patients above their regular copay or deductible, regardless of whether the hospital is in the insurance company's network, according to the report.

The bill would require a healthcare service plan or insurer to pay an in-network hospital for emergency services rendered to a patient based on a formula and an out-of-network hospital "to bill, collect and make refunds in a specified manner."

The bill also provides a dispute resolution procedure if needed.

The bill, introduced by San Francisco Assemblyman David Chui and state Sen. Scott Weiner, must be reviewed in committee. If passed, it would take effect in 2020.

 

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