February 26, 2020

Surprise Billing Bill Passes Committee With Hesitation

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

A revised bill that would address surprise medical billing passed the Senate health committee Wednesday, but many senators say there’s still a lot of work to be done. 

The bill would ensure patients will not face unexpected charges if, for example, they find out after a procedure that a doctor was out-of-network. Patients could be billed for out-of-network charges if they are notified in advance and given a good faith cost estimate.

Legislators narrowly added a more than 30-page amendment to the bill. Among other things, it bans non-compete agreements and requires hospital systems to bill a patient based on the location the services took place.

READ MORE: All IN Conversation: Evansville Issues & Ales, Health Care Costs And Surprise Billing

Sen. Vaneta Becker (R-Evansville) says these are complex issues and the language needs to be reconsidered. 

“This bill, if it goes as the way it goes right now, will have lots of unintended consequences,” Becker says. “And I don’t think that at a committee meeting, that we should be voting something out of committee that we don’t know the full ramification and consequences of that vote.”

The bill passed out of committee with a vote of 8 to 4. It now goes to the full Senate for a vote.  

Contact Darian at dbenson@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @helloimdarian.

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