“Surprise bills” are extra charges from a medical provider whom patients didn’t choose. These medical bills add insult to injury. Surprise bills from anesthesiologists, radiologists, pathologists, assistant surgeons and laboratories were common before a new law “No Surprises Act” signed by Biden.
As a nursing home attorney, we see clients shocked at the cost of medical bills. Many times for unnecessary treatments and services they never consented to and now are stuck with because of a caregiver’s neglect or abuse. Currently, those bills add up to billions in costs for consumers each year.
A new law will prevent surprises and should deter waste, fraud, and exploitation. The law represents a major new consumer protection. The law covers nearly all emergency medical services, and most routine care. CMS explains here.
Senator Bill Cassidy from Louisiana said:
“I think this is so pro-consumer, it’s so pro-patient — and its effect will eventually be felt by literally everybody who interacts with a health care system.”
If you suffer a medical emergency, hospitals will no longer charge more than the cost for in-network services. Several studies found that around 20 percent of citizens who had emergency care were treated by someone outside of their insurance network. Unfortunately, insurance companies and hospitals can still require a deductible or a co-payment. Many well-developed countries have cradle to grave health care.