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Measure ending surprise billing in Tennessee passes subcommittee

Staff Report • Mar 13, 2020 at 3:28 PM

Members of the House Life & Health Insurance Subcommittee have approved a measure sponsored by Rep. Timothy Hill, R-Blountville, that aims to end surprise billing in Tennessee, according to a news release issued Friday by the Tennessee House Republican Caucus.

As amended, House Bill 2680 removes patients from the process of resolving billing disputes between providers and payers in efforts to eliminate this billing practice in Tennessee.

The caucus said the legislation would directly affect citizens with insurance who receive services provided by out-of-network providers in emergency situations — often in hospital settings. The bill requires payers to make an initial payment to the provider. If a dispute between the payer and provider arises, the matter is referred to the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance where it is resolved without patient involvement.

“We all know family members or friends who have received emergency care, only to be blindsided by a bill in their mailbox requiring an absurd payment amount,” Hill said in the release. “This legislation is not an intermediate fix to surprise billing; it is the solution to finally end this practice once and for all so Tennesseans can have peace of mind as they recover.”

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