I am writing about the efforts in Congress to tackle surprise medical bills -- the out-of-network costs that patients get stuck with after care has been administered by an out-of-network provider or hospital. Most often these services are administered as a result of emergency room or urgent care visits. A situation that occurs in tourist country on a daily basis.
In particular, I want to urge everyone to contact U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith and urge them to support S 1531. Policyholders who pay hefty insurance premiums with the expectation that they will access to emergency medical care when they need it without sliding into financial peril.
Measures under consideration in Congress that seek to rein in costs by relying on median in-network rates for reimbursement are particularly troublesome for our rural hospitals. Artificial rate setting strips providers of their ability to negotiate with insurance companies to fairly bill for their services.
As this issue moves toward an end-of-year solution -- remember that the root cause of this problem lies in basic business practices by doctors and health care providers and insurance companies who are supposed to pay for services rendered.