Politics Poll finds support for independent arbiters resolving 'surprise' medical bills

02:35  29 september  2020
02:35  29 september  2020 Source:   thehill.com

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In light of recent legislative activity surrounding surprise medical bills , KFF polling finds broad support across partisans for the federal government taking This month’s KFF Health Tracking Poll continues to find a majority of the public (56 percent) favor a national Medicare-for-all plan and half

In light of recent legislative activity surrounding surprise medical bills , KFF polling finds broad support across partisans for the federal government taking actions to protect patients from having to pay the cost incurred from an inadvertent out-of-network provider including during a medical

A new poll commissioned by a conservative group finds that a strong majority of voters support an independent arbiter resolving disputes over so-called "surprise" medical bills patients sometimes receive from hospitals and providers when their services aren't covered by insurance.

Poll finds support for independent arbiters resolving 'surprise' medical bills © Getty Images Poll finds support for independent arbiters resolving 'surprise' medical bills

The poll, which was sponsored by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, found that 75 percent of voters believe doctors, rather than health insurers, should determine the amount physicians charge for their work.

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Surprise bills can run into the thousands of dollars, representing shocks to patients who expect their care to be covered. The issue has emerged as a major consumer concern, popping up in public polling as a top health care worry and a priority for government action.

A recent poll found that four in ten Americans have received a surprise medical bills . Some debt collectors now even put liens on people’s homes and garnish their paychecks. Patients like Nicole Briggs in Colorado found out the hard way that a hospital covered by your insurance doesn't always

In cases of payment disputes, 74 percent support a third-party resolution that does not involve the federal government "benchmarking" prices for certain services.

Insurers and providers agree patients shouldn't receive massive bills they're not expecting, but the two sides are at war over who will take the hit if Congress legislates changes to their billing practices.

The debate is expected to spill over into the next Congress and could have electoral consequences for some candidates.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committees reached a bipartisan agreement this year to ban surprise medical bills through "benchmarking," which sets costs at the average price for a service.

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“ Surprise medical bill ” is a term commonly used to describe charges arising when an insured individual inadvertently receives care from an out-of-network provider. This situation could arise in an emergency when the patient has no ability to select the emergency room, treating physicians, or

Surprise medical bills like the one Briggs received in the mail can easily lead to these liens. When she got her surprise bill for ,727, she says she called her insurance company to explain the Swedish Medical Center said in a statement that it cannot compel these independent doctors to

Conservative groups, including the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, have spent millions in opposition to the legislation, describing it as "rate setting" or federally-mandated "price controls" that give the government too much power over the health sector.

Critics of the legislation have warned that it would lead to a single-payer system such as Medicare for all.

Insurers largely support the "benchmarking" deal, which was struck by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) and ranking member Greg Walden (R-Ore.), and Senate HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.).

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and ranking GOP member Kevin Brady (R-Texas) have a competing plan that would end surprise billing by allowing an outside party to determine how much the insurer will pay the doctor if an agreement cannot be reached in private.

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If you find yourself with a surprise medical bill , follow these steps to help dispute it or appeal a denial of health insurance coverage. Hospitals and medical offices often send a bill that summarizes the services you received and lists one lump sum due. To spot problems, ask for an itemized statement.

Poll finds support for independent arbiters resolving ' surprise ' medical bills . Tags U.S. Supreme Court Amy Coney Barrett Antonin Scalia Joe Biden United States federal courts Healthcare reform in the United States National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius Affordable Care

Neal recently won a close primary contest against a progressive candidate who ran ads against him for opposing the "benchmarking" bill.

The new poll, conducted by Jarrett Lewis and Robert Blizzard of Public Opinion Strategies, found that 58 percent are less likely to support the benchmarking plan when they're told it will lead to a single payer system, including 83 percent of Republicans.

The conservative groups have been attacking the Walden-Pallone-Alexander-Murray bill as a move toward Medicare for all.

The poll found near-universal support for doctors, nurses and hospitals, while only about half of voters have a favorable view of health insurers.

Since the coronavirus pandemic, about 78 percent say their trust in doctors has increased, while only 32 percent say they have more trust in health insurers to look out for their best interests.

Eighty-five percent say they think health insurers put profits over their medical concerns.

"Rate setting was unpopular before COVID-19 but it has now become politically unviable," said TPA President David Williams. "Doctors and nurses are risking their lives to care for sick patients and voters have made it clear that lawmakers should stand with healthcare heroes, not insurance companies. Legislation that resembles rate setting in any capacity will be met with strong opposition. By a clear margin, voters also make it clear they do not want a rate setting law that opens the door for Medicare for All. Congress must move forward with a solution that protects patients and doctors instead of delivering a win to big insurance companies."

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Surprise Medical Bills - How to Protect Yourself if You Are Uninsured or Have Employer/Union Self-Insured Coverage. If you are uninsured or your employer or union self-insures, you may file a dispute through the independent dispute resolution (IDR) process if you receive a surprise bill from a doctor

This month’s KFF Health Tracking Poll finds nearly eight in ten (78%), including majorities of Independents are more divided with a slightly larger share saying it is more important for Congress Figure 4: Majorities Across Partisans Support Surprise Medical Bill Legislation. A majority of the

The Public Opinion Strategies poll of 800 registered voters in Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan was conducted between Sept. 4 and Sept. 10 and has a 3.46 percentage point margin of error.

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