End the surprise insurance gap

Physician Coalition Applauds Kentucky State Senator Ralph Alvarado’s Surprise Billing Legislation: Kentucky lawmaker’s bill will protect patients from bills unexpected out-of-network care

Date created

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 14:13

Frankfort, Kentucky (Feb. 9, 2018) – The Kentucky Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Kentucky Psychiatric Association, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Emergency Department Practice Management Association, the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, the National Patient Advocate Foundation and Physicians for Fair Coverage applaud Senator Ralph Alvarado for introducing SB 79, “An Act relating to surprise billing,” which contains key patient protections from surprise medical bills, requires transparency and maintains important access to care. Senator Alvarado discussed SB 79 on January 30, 2018, at a hearing of the Kentucky Senate Standing Committee on Banking and Insurance.

“SB 79 is a solid step forward towards closing the surprise insurance gap. I appreciated the opportunity to appear before the committee to ensure that the physician perspective was represented. Together with colleagues and physician group allies, I look forward to working closely with Senator Alvarado to advance this important legislation,” said Dr. Steven Stack of the Kentucky chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (KACEP).

“Surprise insurance gaps are the root cause of surprise medical bills,” said Michele Kimball, President and CEO of Physicians for Fair Coverage, a group that represents more than 2000 Kentucky physicians and partners with physician and patient advocates across the country, “and we are grateful to Senator Alvarado for taking proactive steps toward remedying the increasingly insufficient coverage and narrow provider networks that are hurting Kentucky families.”

On top of the escalating costs insurers are shifting to patients through higher premiums, higher deductibles, and higher cost-sharing requirements, Kentucky patients are increasingly receiving surprise medical bills for care they thought was covered by insurance, often in emergencies when they need their coverage the most. SB 79 takes patients out of the middle between the insurer and the provider, ensures patients will not be financially penalized for unexpected out-of-network care, and calls for increased transparency by insurers. SB 79 leverages transparent and independent market data to establish a fair and comprehensive end to surprise bills without raising insurance premium or other costs. A similar data-based approach has been shown to lower patient costs in other states, including New York and Connecticut.

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About End the Surprise Insurance Gap:

End the Surprise Insurance Gap is a growing alliance of physician and patient-focused groups that is working in Kentucky to improve patient protections and enact a fair and transparent solution to surprise medical bills.Groups advocating to End the Surprise Insurance Gap in Kentucky include the Kentucky Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Kentucky Psychiatric Association, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Emergency Department Practice Management Association, the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, the National Patient Advocate Foundation, and Physicians for Fair Coverage.

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https://cdn720.s3.amazonaws.com/endtheinsurancegap/s3fs-public/kentucky_sb_79_statement.pdf