End the surprise insurance gap

Dr. Sriram Mannava Testifies Before the Senate Insurance and Finance Committee About Protecting Patients and Ending Surprise Medical Bills

Date created

Wed, 11/06/2019 - 15:47

COLUMBUS, O.H. – Today, Dr. Sriram Mannava, MD, testified before the Ohio General Assembly, Senate Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee, during a hearing on SB 198, which deals with surprise medical bills. SB 198 is based on PFC’s arbitration model that has been successfully implemented in several other states, including New York and Texas.

SB 198 is a bipartisan bill that offers a solution to surprise medical bills by creating a comprehensive and equitable system that guides the arbitration process between health plan issuers and individual health care providers, effectively preventing patients from getting stuck in the middle of payment disputes. The lead sponsors of the bill are Sen. Steve Huffman (R-OH5), M.D., and Sen. Nickie Antonio (D-OH23).

Addressing the committee, Mannava discussed the benefits of a system based on Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) and cited statistics showing that a similar law implemented by New York has saved consumers over $400 million in that state. “Senate Bill 198 provides this critical framework and accomplishes the goal to effectively end surprise billing in the best interests of patients and the physicians who care for them,” said Mannava in his testimony to lawmakers. “Of note, in addition to strong patient protections, PFC is pleased to see Senate Bill 198 includes a baseball-style Independent Dispute Resolution or IDR process for recourse if either the physician or the health plan believes a claim is not reasonable.”

PFC has been very involved in arbitration debates in several states, and we note that solutions incorporating IDR have proven successful. Twelve states have now adopted a solution incorporating baseball-style IDR, including Washington state, Nevada, and Colorado this year and, most recently, the state of Texas.

Background:

Physicians for Fair Coverage (PFC), a non-profit, non-partisan alliance of tens of thousands of physicians with more than 1,000 in Ohio. PFC created the End the Surprise Insurance Gap campaign to advocate on behalf of patients and the physicians who care for them. The goal of the campaign is to advance legislation that protects patients from unexpected costs associated with unanticipated out-of-network care, establishes fair reimbursement standards to preserve needed access, and creates greater network and pricing transparency. PFC is comprised of tens of thousands of physicians in a variety of specialties serving communities in all 50 states. To learn more, visit www.endtheinsurancegap.org.

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