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President Addresses Surprise Medical Billing, Patient Protections | Patient Engagement HIT

May 13, 2019 – The healthcare industry has renewed its commitment to address surprise medical billing, with the White House and key industry leaders asserting a need for policy to end the practice.

Surprise medical bills are healthcare charges that a patient did not expect, or did not expect to be so high. Patients often incur these charges when they receive emergency care in an out-of-network facility or care in an in-network facility from an out-of-network provider.

In an address, President Donald Trump called for a bipartisan solution to end surprise medical billing, giving a nod to a bill circulating Congress that would put in place patient protections from these types of bills.

“For too long, surprise billings — which has been a tremendous problem in this country — has left some patients with thousands of dollars of unexpected and unjustified charges for services they did not know anything about and, sometimes, services they did not have any information on,” the President said. “They weren’t told by the doctor.  They weren’t told by the hospitals in the areas they were going to.  And they get, what we call, a ‘surprise bill.’”

The President outlined key factors that could limit surprise medical billing.

First, regulations should prohibit balance billing in emergency care.

Next, regulations should require price transparency for non-emergency care. Such transparency would include estimates for out-of-pocket patient costs, he said.

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President Addresses Surprise Medical Billing, Patient Protections.

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