May 5, 2017

Stop HB 4011: Health Insurance Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

House Bill 4011 amounts to unnecessary overregulation of the business of medicine, and the Texas House of Representatives should reject it.

HB 4011 would require physicians to receive from the patient a signed disclosure form with an itemized statement of the amounts to be billed for nonemergency medical services before those services are provided. If a physician does not obtain this signed document, the physician is prohibited from providing information to a consumer reporting agency regarding the patient's outstanding medical debt.

Write or call your state representative now.

Eight reasons to oppose HB 4011:

  1. The bill would overregulate the business of medicine via a law that is really unneeded. This is an anti-free market piece of legislation. No other business is subject to these requirements.
  2. It removes any accountability for health insurers to pay an out-of-network benefit for the patient, discouraging patient choice of physicians.
  3. HB 4011 sets up an impossible hurdle for many physicians to meet. It could force us into the position of either delaying treatment while we wait for a signed disclosure form or making it less likely that we receive payment for the medical care we provided.
  4. State and federal law already provide the protections this bill is aiming for – and they do it in a much simpler manner.
  5. Current state law contains extensive protections to help prevent unpaid medical bills from hurting consumers’ credit. Those protections were included in Senate Bill 1731, which was passed in 2007 to strike a balance between protecting patients from medical debt and maintaining their personal financial responsibilities.
  6. Among the many consumer protections enacted in the 2007 law, physicians upon request must give a patient an estimate of charges for any health care services or supplies if the patient has no insurance or is receiving services out-of-network. Even more stringent requirements apply to hospital-based physicians.
  7. Federal law, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, prohibits states from passing laws or imposing restrictions “relating to information contained in consumer [credit] reports.”
  8. In the current legislative session, medicine is strongly supporting a package of much better insurance reform measures to make it easier for patients to prevent or challenge “surprise medical bills.”

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