Texas governor signs legislation on surprise billing, mediation efforts

Gov. Greg Abbott, R-Texas, signed legislation targeting surprise medical billing, effective Sept. 1.

The legislation, Senate Bill 507, attempts to combat balance billing practices by expanding mediation protections for consumers. SB 507 will expand mediation protections to consumers with preferred provider organization plans balanced billed by all out-of-network emergency providers and all out-of-network providers at in-network facilities. Free-standing emergency providers are included in the legislation.

The bill adds to current law, which provides mediation for consumers balanced billed only by radiologists, anesthesiologists, pathologists, emergency room physicians, neonatologists and assistant surgeons.  

The measure also requires balance bill statements to include a disclosure reading, "This is a balance bill that may be eligible for mediation." 

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