Washington state surprise-billing law takes effect at end of month

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Washington state's law to protect patients from surprise medical bills will take effect July 28, according to NBC-affiliate TV station KING.

The new law addresses unexpectedly large bills patients receive when they access  emergency services at an out-of-network emergency room or medical treatment from an out-of-network provider at an in-network hospital or facility, said state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, who requested the legislation.

The law prohibits balance billing when a patient receives emergency care in an out-of-network emergency room or receives emergency services from an out-of-network provider.

It also prohibits balance billing when a patient has a nonemergency procedure at an in-network hospital or facility if the services include surgical or ancillary services and an out-of-network provider is involved in the care, according to KING.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill into law May 21.


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