Trump pushes legislation to end 'outrageous medical bills'

President Donald Trump is urging Congress to pass legislation to end surprise billing that can leave hospital patients with massive out-of-pocket costs, according to The Washington Post.

Six things to know:

1. President Trump spoke about surprise medical bills at the White House May 9.

2. The president said lawmakers should work to end healthcare practices that are charging patients for "unexpected healthcare costs that are absolutely out of control. No family should be blindsided by outrageous medical bills," according to the Post.

3. The administration said it specifically wants to protect patients from surprise medical bills after receiving emergency care from an out-of-network provider, when they couldn't pick their caregiver. Federal officials said legislation should also address surprise medical bills that occur after a patient receives care from an out-of-network provider they reasonably thought was in-network.

4. President Trump's remarks come after a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released last month showed that at least three-fourths of Americans believe the federal government should protect patients from being on the hook for the cost of unplanned out-of-network healthcare, including emergency care and out-of-network treatment from physicians or specialists.

5. Senior administration officials told the Post and other media that federal officials also want to require hospitals to notify patients receiving elective surgery up front if they will be receiving any care from out-of-network staff, and if so, require facilities to give patients written price estimates and the ability to decide whether to consent.

6. A group of senators — including Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La., and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H, who have been working on the issue with their colleagues — are reportedly slated to introduce surprise-billing legislation this month. Representatives in the House are also working on legislation.

 

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