Surprise medical billsOne of the top priorities seems to be surprise medical bills, which are in the administration’s crosshairs. President Trump in January 2019 hosted a roundtable to air the problems people face when hit with what are often financially devastating surprise bills after they venture out of their network for medical services for both emergency and scheduled medical visits. After the roundtable, he directed a bipartisan group of lawmakers to create legislation that would provide relief. The House Energy and Commerce Committee in May responded by introducing draft legislation that aims to ban surprise medical bills. Also, Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) have said they hope to introduce legislation to end the practice of surprise bills. With the White House and both sides of the aisle talking the talk, observers say that there are a number of ways legislation could tackle these surprise bills. That could include:
- Setting caps on how much hospitals and service providers can charge, or
- Requiring hospitals and service providers to turn to the insurance company (and not the patient) when they are seeking additional reimbursement.
- Requiring the insurer to share more of the cost burden for the out-of-network services.