Senators ask insurers, providers for data on surprise billing

U.S. senators of both parties are seeking information from the healthcare industry on surprise medical billing, according to The Hill.

Lawmakers sent letters Feb. 5 to insurers and medical providers with specific questions about billing, premiums, payments, state efforts to address surprise medical bills and other related issues. Responses are requested by Feb. 18.

Questions for health plans include:

  • What do you currently pay for out-of-network care on average, broken down by plan type, market type and provider type?
  • What percentage of your plans' premiums are currently attributable to … emergency care physicians, radiologists, anesthesiologists, pathologists, ambulance services and laboratory services?
  • Do you have a process for identifying when providers send balance bills?

Questions for providers include:

  • What is the average out-of-network payment that your providers receive for emergency services?
  • Can you identify specific states where providers have a lower-than-average contracting rate?
  • What role do you think that hospitals should play in combating surprise medical billing?

The letter was signed by Sens. Bill Cassidy, MD, R-La.; Michael Bennet, D-Colo.; Todd Young, R-Ind.; Tom Carper, D-Del.; Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska; and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H..

Lawmakers are trying to reach a consensus on addressing surprise medical bills that leave patients with high, unexpected out-of-pocket costs.


More articles on healthcare finance:

Study on hospital, physician prices uses 'limited data to draw broad conclusions,' hospital association says
South Carolina healthcare providers alert patients about 'split billing'
RCM tip of the day: Use media to boost consumer price confidence


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