Patient vents on medical billing: 'Was I supposed to wake up and say, 'No, stay in network'?'

Billing was among the healthcare areas discussed April 16 during a roundtable with federal and state policymakers in Bethlehem, Pa., according to The Morning Call.

The roundtable — hosted by U.S. Rep. Susan Wild of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro — allowed patient advocates, physicians and hospital administrators to talk about various healthcare issues.

During the roundtable, patient advocate Sarah Rentz discussed an $8,000 bill she received after her tumor sample was sent to a lab that was not in her insurer’s network.

“I was unconscious when they did this. Was I supposed to wake up and say, ‘No, stay in network'?" she told federal and state policymakers, according to The Morning Call.

Mr. Shapiro confirmed the state has “seen a pattern of practice across Pennsylvania where patients are taken advantage of in that situation,” and added that those patients sometimes have been able to receive financial help through state officials.

According to The Morning Call, Ms. Wild said she’s working on legislation to protect patients from unexpected out-of-network bills.

Roundtable attendees — which included representatives from Allentown, Pa.-based Lehigh Valley Health Network and Bethlehem-based St. Luke’s University Health Network — also discussed various components of the ACA and political uncertainty surrounding the health law.

Read more about the event here.

 

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