Mystery group spent $13M on surprise-billing ads: 7 things to know

A mystery group has invested more than $13 million since July advertising in more than 20 states on surprise-billing legislation, according to Bloomberg Government.

Seven things to know:

1. The group, which calls itself Doctor Patient Unity, has put out TV, radio and social media ads.

2. It is specifically targeting states with U.S. senators up for re-election in 2020, according to Bloomberg Government, which cites Advertising Analytics and Federal Communications Commission filings.

3. The filings show that Doctor Patient Unity has made advertising purchases ranging from $1.1 million to $2.4 million in each of the following states: Minnesota, Kentucky, Michigan, Colorado, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina. 

4. The group made six-figure advertising purchases in Alabama, New Mexico, Maine, Massachusetts, Iowa and Texas. 

5. The ads come amid various federal proposals to protect patients from surprise medical bills that occur after they unintentionally receive out-of-network care in emergency situations or at in-network hospitals. Some proposals include a dispute resolution process, such as arbitration, for out-of-network payments between providers and insurance companies. Another idea under consideration is a benchmarking approach to determine and set these payments.

6. In the ads, Doctor Patient Unity expresses opposition to the benchmarking approach, according to Bloomberg Government. The group's website says it "support[s] a federal solution to surprise medical bills that makes insurance companies pay their fair share and supports patients' right to quality medical care."

7. According to Bloomberg Government, FCC filings show that the ads are funded by Del Cielo Media, or its parent company, Smart Media Group, both of Alexandria, Va.

Read the full Bloomberg Government report here.   


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