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Government & Politics

U.S. Sen. Brown Introduces a Measure to End Some "Surprise Billing" for Healthcare

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WKSU
Sen. Brown introduces bill to stop "surprise billing"

Ohio's U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown has introduced legislation to stop so-called “surprise billing.” That’s a health insurance company's practice of charging patients big out-of-pocket costs for unwittingly being treated by “out-of the-network” doctors, anesthesiologists or lab technicians.

These bills can amount to tens of thousands of dollars.

Brown says “surprise billing” happens to an estimated one-third of patients who are treated for medical emergencies. One of them is Columbus area resident Daniel Kueper who was with Brown for the bill’s announcement. Kueper was treated by an “out-of-network” doctor for a heart attack. 

“My insurance company said they would only pay $1,400, leaving me responsible for $15,500. I was stunned by this.”

Brown says as long as the out-of-network doctor or other provider is affiliated with the hospital where the patient is being treated, his legislation would protect the patient from a surprise bill like the one Kueper received.