A Bill that would Eliminate Surprise Medical Billing to be Developed by Congress

Last Thursday, the President announced the introduction of guiding principles for Congress to follow in developing a bill that will eliminate surprise medical billing. The guidelines are as follows:
  1. In situations involving emergency care, patients should never have to bear the burden of out-of-network costs they didn’t agree to pay. 
  2. Patients should receive a clear and honest bill up front when they receive scheduled, non-emergency care. They must be provided with prices for all services and must be told the out-of-pocket amount they will be responsible for.
  3. Patients should not receive surprise bills from out-of-network providers that they did not choose themselves.
  4. Legislation should protect patients without increasing federal healthcare expenditures.  Additionally, any legislation should lead to greater competition and more choice.

We applaud this initiative and hope it receives bi-partisan support. Many of us have personally experienced the shock of a surprise medical bill or if not, know people who have been blindsided by outrageous medical bills. A new law based on these guiding principles will definitely go a long way towards protecting us from surprise charges.