November 28, 2018

Senator Hassan Emphasizes Importance of Tackling Surprise Medical Bills During Senate Hearing on Health Care Costs

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Click here to watch Senator Hassan’s questioning. 

WASHINGTON – Today, during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on health care costs, Senator Maggie Hassan highlighted a bill she recently introduced that would help end surprise medical bills from emergency care or care that patients thought was in their insurance network.

“Studies have shown that nearly 1 in 5 emergency room visits involves care from providers who are out-of-network, and non-emergency situations often result in surprise medical bills as well,” Senator Hassan said. “These situations are not the patients’ fault, obviously – you don’t know who is even reading your x-ray for example – and its fundamentally unfair to hold patients accountable for bills that they have no control over. That’s one of the reasons why I introduced the No More Surprise Medical Bills Act of 2018 and my bill focuses on the parts of the large employer market that states can’t regulate.”

Washington state’s Executive of King County, Dow Constantine spoke in support of Senator Hassan’s bill, “I think it's absolutely critical that we stop surprise billing by holding the patient harmless and requiring those who are in a better position to understand who is to pay for what and who’s covered and who’s not to take the responsibility...I do think that this is something that needs to happen at the national level and not just on a state by state basis. I strongly support the intent of your bill. Everyone agrees consumers should not be caught in the middle of these billing disputes.”

Recently, Senator Hassan sat down with Granite Staters who have been impacted by surprise medical bills, where they received massive, unexpected medical bills for care that they did not realize was considered out-of-network.

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