Washington legislature passes surprise-billing law

Washington state lawmakers passed legislation April 18 to end surprise medical bills, according to ABC affiliate television station KXLY.

Mike Kreidler, the state's insurance commissioner, said that the legislation is designed to protect patients from surprise billing, also called balanced billing, when an insurer and provider or facility have not reached a contract agreement. The issue applies to patients who seek treatment from an in-network hospital or surgical facility but receive an unexpected bill from an out-of-network provider involved in their care. 

The legislation prohibits balance billing when a patient receives emergency care in an out-of-network emergency room or has a nonemergency procedure at an in-network hospital or facility. Under the legislation, a dispute between an insurer and provider or facility goes to binding arbitration if the parties do not agree on a “commercially reasonable” reimbursement for out-of-network services within 30 days.

Read more about the legislation here.


More articles on healthcare finance:

New York hospital seeks new designation to boost Medicare reimbursement
RCM tip of the day: Collaborate with operational stakeholders
Texas Senate passes surprise-billing legislation with arbitration


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