Tag Archives: network

COVID relief bill bans some surprise medical bills, but not all

us-capitolLeaders of both political parties in the U.S. House and Senate reached agreement Sunday to pass a $900 billion bill to stimulate the economy. That bill also included language supporting a long-sought plan to end surprise medical bills for some patients.

In addition, the bill will fund distribution of vaccines for the coronavirus and aid individuals and businesses struggling to pay their bills during the pandemic.

Members of the House and Senate passed the measure on Monday night as a deadline loomed to fund federal government operations through September. Continue reading

There’s more to surprise medical bills than patients’ horror stories

Photo: Urban Bohemian via Flickr

Photo: Urban Bohemian via Flickr

Surprise medical bills are not new but they certainly have become a big story nationwide. In most of these stories, the focus is on the consumer, as it should be.

But there is another angle to this story that journalists should not overlook: what state legislatures are doing to prevent consumers from getting unexpectedly dinged for amounts that can total thousands of dollars. Continue reading

A look at how states are addressing balance billing abuses

service-invoiceWe’ve all read about patients who were careful to choose an in-network doctor or hospital but still ended up with some care provided out of network – and unanticipated bills.

One of the most memorable accounts was in Elisabeth Rosenthal’s “Paying Till It Hurts” New York Times series, when she recounted the story of the patient who – unbeknownst to him – had an out-of-network assistant surgeon alongside his carefully selected in-network surgeon. The assistant submitted a $117,000 bill. Continue reading

With exchanges looming, AHCJ updates health reform resources

Health reform core topic leader Joanne Kenen is continually updating the stories, tip sheets, data and other resources to help you cover this important moment in health care. Some of the latest updates include an explanation about private insurance exchanges, links to guidance on the tax provisions related to the Affordable Care Act, and a surprising bit of shared wisdom from Tom Wilemon of The Tennessean.

New entries in the health reform glossary include habilitation, rehabilitation, network/closed network and usual, customary and reasonable.

Three recent tip sheets will go a long way toward helping you report on and explain the choices your readers, viewers and listeners are going to be making in the coming months:

Watch for more blog posts and resources to be added over the coming days and weeks. And, if you have questions or topics you’d like to see us cover, comment below or email your ideas to joanne@healthjournalism.org.