Healthcare Consumer Priorities Key for Surprise Medical Bill Laws

Legislation crafted to address surprise medical bills must take into account the priorities of patients and healthcare consumers, says a group of patient advocacy groups. In a recent letter to Congressional leaders, the groups, which included the likes of Families USA and organizations from 17 states, stated that the patient perspective will be critical when creating laws that tackle the issue of surprise medical bills. Surprise medical bills are unexpected healthcare costs that patients did not think they would receive or did not expect to be so high. These charges usually occur when a patient receives treatment at an in-network facility from an out-of-network provider, or when the patient is incapacitated and transported to an out-of-network facility. These situations typically arise when patients need emergency care. Surprise medical bills have come to the forefront as a growing healthcare industry problem. Sixty-seven percent of patients have said they worry about receiving a surprise medical bill, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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