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The coronavirus pandemic colored just about everything in 2020. But there was other health policy news that you either never heard or might have forgotten about: the Affordable Care Act going before the Supreme Court with its survival on the line; ditto for Medicaid work requirements. And a surprise ending to the “surprise bill” saga. Joanne Kenen of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Sarah Karlin-Smith of Pink Sheet join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
A long-debated measure to stop doctors, hospitals and other health care providers from billing patients for charges not covered by their insurance will gain congressional approval as part of the sweeping government spending package.
Congress seems on the verge of finishing a long-delayed COVID-19 relief bill, which will reportedly include neither of the things each party wanted most — for Republicans, liability protections; for Democrats, funding for states and localities. That bill is likely to be tied to a package to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year and, possibly, include a fix for “surprise” medical bills that patients receive when they inadvertently receive care outside their insurance network. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call and Mary Agnes Carey of KHN join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner talks to Elizabeth Mitchell, president and CEO of the Pacific Business Group on Health, about the future of employer-provided health insurance.
The president entered office seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act, revamp Medicaid and drive down prescription drug prices, among other things. He’s hit some stone walls.
Studies show that at least half of ground ambulance rides across the nation leave patients with “surprise” medical bills. And a $300-a-mile ride is not unusual. Yet federal legislation to stem what’s known as balance billing has largely ignored ambulance costs.
When a colleague brings a medical billing problem to human resources director Steve Benasso — he goes to battle. “I am a bulldog on this stuff,” he said. In this episode, Benasso tells how he does it.
A college student’s bill for outpatient knee surgery is a whopper — $96K — but the most mysterious part is a $1,167 charge from a health care provider she didn’t even know was in the operating room.
Americans who had coronavirus symptoms in March and April are getting big hospital bills — because they were not sick enough to get then-scarce COVID tests. Some insurers say they are trying to correct these bills, but patients may have to put up a fight.
Jane Collins and Anthony Blow were stunned to learn last fall that their state tax refund was being reduced by $110 because the Charlottesville medical center said they owed money for care their son received in 2001 and 2002.
A fines de marzo, el Congreso aprobó dos leyes, que esencialmente establecieron no solo que las pruebas para COVID tenían que estar cubiertas, sino que los pacientes no debían pagar un centavo.
Some large employers interpreted themselves as exempt from new federal laws that say tests for the coronavirus should be free to patients. Large academic medical centers are holding back from sending bills to these patients to avoid a backlash over surprise billing.
Politicians pledged to stop providers from charging for video appointments or telephone calls, but some patients are being charged $70 or $80 per virtual visit.
Language in the CARES Act says providers who take emergency funding cannot balance-bill coronavirus patients ― and “every patient” is considered a possible COVID-19 patient.
Nadie está haciendo mucho para rescatar a pacientes que necesitan desesperadamente protección contra este tipo de facturas, en un sistema que cobra libremente por cada atención que dispensa.
Hidden costs for ER visits and other fees could cost people thousands of dollars.
Most hospitals must offer free or reduced-cost care to certain patients, based on income, even if they have insurance. But some hospitals erect barriers to charity care, so it’s up to patients to advocate for themselves.
Surprise bills are just the latest weapons in a decades-long war among health care industry players over who gets to keep the fortunes generated each year from patient illness: $3.6 trillion in 2018. The practice is an outrage, yet no one in the health care sector wants to unilaterally make the type of big concessions that would change things.
President Donald Trump’s proposed budget includes billions of dollars in health spending cuts, Congress gets back to work on surprise medical bills, and health care remains a top issue for the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla.), a former Health and Human Services secretary, joins the panel at a special taping before a live audience in Washington, D.C. Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post, Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call and Joanne Kenen of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
As lawmakers consider bills to protect patients against surprise medical bills, doctors have waged a stealth on-the-ground campaign to win over members of Congress. Here’s how they did it.