Healthcare scholars: Even during pandemic, 'a patient can do everything right and still face substantial surprise bills'

While private health insurers and the federal government have taken steps to waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing, providers are ultimately the ones sending the bills — and some will continue business as usual when it comes to balance-billing patients even for coronavirus care, two academics wrote for The New York Times.  

In the op-ed, David Anderson, a health insurance researcher at Duke University Margolis Center for Health Policy in Washington, D.C., and Nicholas Bagley, a professor at the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, emphasized the need for a ban on surprise billing from out-of-network providers for coronavirus treatment. 

"In a coronavirus pandemic, a patient can do everything right and still face substantial surprise bills," the authors wrote. Later, they pointed out that, "Reputable providers will appreciate that now is not the time for price gouging. But many won't and will seek to exploit people's medical needs for financial gain, much as they did before the coronavirus began to spread."

The authors called on Congress to pass a temporary measure to limit out-of-network charges for patients seeking COVID-19 testing and treatment.

Some hospitals have taken their own steps to delay sending patients bills for testing and treatment of COVID-19.

View the full op-ed here.

More articles on healthcare finance:
Texas medical group files for bankruptcy
8 hospitals have closed so far this year — here's why
Missouri town loses hospital after 100 years

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2021. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.