The world as we know it has changed drastically over the last couple years. Emergency care has become more common than ever. Unfortunately, it is also common that those seeking emergency services from a facility often get hit with unexpected medical bills for services that weren’t anticipated.
That is all about to change. The No Surprises Act, which was approved by Congress in late 2020 has finally gone into effect January 1, 2022. This new law protects patients who are receiving emergency care from doctors and hospitals that are out of network and that the patient did not necessarily choose. These services include, for example, emergency medicine, anesthesia, radiology as well as the services of an assistant surgeon and/or hospitalist. Also included are items or services that result from unforeseen urgent medical needs that come from a service that has been furnished. The only bill a patient would be responsible for in this situation would be their in-network cost-sharing portion.
While this new law sets out to protect patients from hefty medical bills, it was not merely accepted overnight. It had to overcome several hurdles from the health care industry before it was finally able to go into effect. Health care providers were mainly concerned with who would end up paying the rest of the bill once the patient paid their in-network share. After many negotiations and discussions, it was finally agreed that a system would be initiated were insurers and providers would negotiate the amount to be paid. If an agreement could not be reached between the parties, then the bill would be evaluated and settled through an independent dispute resolution system.
Been injured in a car accident, work accident or slip and fall recently? Now you can receive the emergency care you need without any hidden medical bill surprises.
Amanda Ibrahim, Esq.