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White House Says Hospitals Must Agree Not To Send “Surprise” Medical Bills To Patients Treated For COVID-19

  • April 10, 2020

The AP (4/9, Alonso) reports, “Hospitals taking money from the $2 trillion stimulus bill will have to agree not to send ‘surprise’ medical bills to patients treated for COVID-19, the White House said Thursday.” The AP explains that “the prohibition on surprise billing will protect patients covered by government programs, employer plans or self-purchased insurance,” and “hospitals that accept the grants will have to certify that they won’t try to collect more money than the patient would have otherwise owed if the medical attention had been provided in network.”
      Meanwhile, Politico (4/9, Luthi) reports that “the coronavirus crisis is spurring leaders of two congressional health committees to renew bipartisan efforts to end ‘surprise’ medical bills over fears that thousands of Americans exposed to the disease could get hit by staggering balances for out-of-network or emergency care.” According to Politico, “the new effort by top Republicans on the Senate HELP and House Energy and Commerce committees would wrap language in the next coronavirus stimulus package – or, aides say, any other appropriate legislation – forbidding hospitals from billing patients for costs that insurers refuse to pick up. While Democrats broadly support a billing fix, they’ve yet to endorse specifically rolling it into the next stimulus.”