The California Capitol.
The California Assembly has passed and sent to Gov. Jerry Brown for his expected signature compromise legislation to limit out-of-network medical bills.
The Sacramento Bee reported: “A bill seeking to limit such charges, typically incurred when an insured patient gets treated by a specialist not in his or her network, collapsed last year in the face of fierce opposition from the California Medical Association. The doctors’ lobby warned that measure would backfire and lead to a fewer doctors being available. Organized labor had championed the bill.”
“One year later an amended version, Assembly Bill 72 …. has passed on a bipartisan 70-0 vote. The California Medical Association adopted a neutral stance after amendments gave more options for the level at which out-of-network physicians are reimbursed and fleshed out the process to dispute charges.”
Under the new bill, patients would pay only the rate for an in-network physician as long as the patients went to in-network hospitals. Insurance companies would have to pay physicians the rest. The bill will create an independent process for physicians to challenge payments.
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