Washington state House votes to end surprise billing

The Washington state House advanced legislation to prevent surprise medical bills for out-of-network healthcare services, according to local TV station KEPR.

The bill, proposed by Mike Kreidler, the state's insurance commissioner, passed the House 84-13.

Mr. Kreidler said in a news release that the legislation is designed to protect patients from receiving surprise bills 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. 

"I'm grateful to [state] Rep. Eileen Cody for her efforts to end this practice, and to the other 83 members of the House who voted in such a strong, bipartisan manner," said Mr. Kreidler. "Our bill strikes a good balance and does what everyone agrees should happen — it takes the consumer out of the middle of these billing disputes."

The bill now moves to the state's Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee.


More articles on healthcare finance: 

Oregon proposes minimum for hospitals' community benefit spending
Patients more likely to ditch preferred hospital after a surprise bill, study finds
Patients will shop around for lower-priced providers if rewarded, study finds



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