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Biden Nixes ‘Surprise’ Medical Billing Practices, a Common Problem In Portland Personal Injury Claims

By Marc A. Johnston, posted in Personal Injury on July 28, 2021

When any type of accident results in personal injuries in Portland, it is important to seek medical care immediately. Potentially life-threatening conditions can have symptoms that appear subtle at first. Visiting the local hospital emergency room is the safest bet. Unfortunately, it can also leave you facing heavy medical bills due to ‘surprise’ charges for out-of-network care. The Biden administration recently took steps to put a stop to this practice.

New Rule Eliminates Surprise Medical Billing for Certain Policy Holders

Changes in federal law that take effect next year could provide increased clarity in medical billing while reducing the overall amount you pay for emergency medical services. According to a July 3, 2021 Wonkette report, the Biden administration recently issued an administrative rule that eliminates surprise medical billing for people with employer-provided health insurance coverage and for those who purchase plans on the private market. The new rule begins January 1, 2022.

What is surprise medical billing? As the name implies, it is when you are billed for unexpected charges related to alleged out-of-network care. It is a common problem for people who are victims of accidental injuries. The following provides an example of how it happens:

  • You are involved in a car accident due to recklessness on the part of another driver;
  • You bump your head in the crash, experiencing symptoms such as headache, blurred vision, and nausea;
  • After reporting it to the police and exchanging information with others involved, you rightly visit your local hospital emergency room;
  • You obtain treatments that are otherwise covered by your health insurance;
  • Weeks later, you get a bill for hundreds or even thousands of dollars, due to parts of your care that were deemed out of network and billed at a ridiculously high rate.

The ‘No Surprises’ Act

The new Biden administrative rule follows up on H.R.3630, known as the ‘No Surprises Act’. Passed by Congress in 2020, its goal is to put a stop to surprise medical billing practices and applies to a variety of services, including:

  • Ambulances and airlifts to hospital emergency rooms;
  • Emergency diagnostic testing;
  • Emergency medical procedures;
  • Anesthesiology services;
  • Other care or treatments provided by emergency room doctors or other staff.

The No Surprises Act bans insurance providers from billing any of these and other services as out-of-network and at higher rates, which has become an increasingly common practice as private equity firms take over providing health care. The Act still faces several hurdles before being officially enacted, but the Biden administration’s recent actions provide valuable support and temporary relief for people who require emergency medical care due to personal injuries.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

Have you been left to face a hefty hospital bill as the result of personal injuries? The Johnston Law Firm P.C. is here to help you get the compensation you deserve. To discuss your options, call (503) 546-3167 or contact our Portland personal injury attorney online today.

Marc Johnston
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