Louisiana Hospital Association Sues State Over Hurricane Isaac Policy

The Louisiana Hospital Association and the Louisiana State Medical Society have sued state Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon regarding a health coverage policy and Hurricane Isaac, according to an Advocate report.

On Sept. 4, Mr. Donelon issued an emergency order that required out-of-network medical care to be treated as in-network from Aug. 26 through Sept. 25, according to the report. This eliminated the higher charges patients normally have to pay when they receive out-of-network care.

The LHA and LSMS argued the policy interfered with physicians' rights to bill patients according to insurer contracts, and the lawsuit seeks to have provisions involving payment thrown out.

Mr. Donelon said the policy was created to help people who were forced out of their homes by Hurricane Isaac not have to pay higher medical costs for emergency care. The state has issued similar rules during Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Gustav, according to the report.

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