Healthcare

Bipartisan senators ask industry for information on surprise medical bills

Greg Nash

A bipartisan group of senators is asking industry groups for information as they plan legislation to prevent patients from getting massive, unexpected medical bills.

The lawmakers sent letters on Tuesday to a variety of insurers and medical providers asking detailed questions about data on their billing and payment procedures.

{mosads}The letter is a sign of the increased activity around an issue that is seen as a rare major area of health policy that could see bipartisan action this year.

President Trump gave the effort a boost last month when he held an event with patients who had received surprise medical bills.

Patients can get large surprise bills even if they have insurance, if one of the doctors they saw happened to be outside of their insurance network.

Legislation would protect patients from having to pay exorbitant costs in that scenario. Insurers and medical providers are jockeying over how the payments will be worked out.

“We want to protect patients from costly surprise bills while preventing undue disruption in the health care system,” the senators wrote. “To meet this goal, it is critical that we receive additional data and more complete feedback in order to refine and inform our legislative proposal.”

The letter was sent by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.).

Tags Bill Cassidy Donald Trump Insurance Lisa Murkowski Maggie Hassan Medical billing Michael Bennet Todd Young Tom Carper

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