NJ congressman’s No Surprises Act would nix sneaky medical bills
Nearly 20% of emergency room visits ends with a surprise medical bill when an out-of-network doctor is called in without the patient's knowledge.
To address that, proposed legislation by U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J. 6th District, is moving forward on Capitol Hill.
Pallone said this practice can result in thousands of dollars in extra costs because insurance is not covering the care.
The bipartisan "No Surprises Act" requires advance notice of care from an out-of-network provider, and requires the patient's consent for such care.
"You still could theoretically opt for a physician that's out of network. But if you do that, the physician has to tell you what the charge is going to be and give you an alternative of doctors that are in network and then you'd have to sign a written consent form 72 hours before the physician attended to you," Pallone explained.
Pallone says the bill's ready for floor action in the House and Senate, and President Donald Trump has indicated that he will support it, "so hopefully within the next couple of months we'll see it signed into law."
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5