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Resolve issue of surprise medical billing disputes

Every family has had someone face a medical emergency. At these critical times, we want to get ourselves, or our family member, to the closest and best doctor or hospital to be treated. In emergencies, you are only focused on getting the medical care you need as quickly as possible.

The last thing you or your loved one are thinking about is if the doctor you are about to see is in your network or worrying if your insurance company will cover it.

Families across the country have gone through the pain and trauma of a medical emergency only to face the burden of massive and unexpected medical bills.

Too many working Americans are faced today with surprise medical bills, which can wipe out your life savings, your retirement funds and your ability to stay in your home. Patients should not face dire financial straights because they sought emergency health care.

In these situations, patients often don’t have a choice in which doctor treats them.

Some are trying to get Congress to pass “rate-setting” legislation, but this is not a solution, as rate setting will only result in passing costs along to patients in other ways. The right thing to do is to take vulnerable patients out of the middle by working with an independent person to solve the problem.

Ask our congressman to support taking patients out of the middle by passing legislation for Independent Dispute Resolution.

IDR is a bipartisan proposal which uses a neutral third party to determine the fair value of medical services provided. Other states, like Texas and New York, have had success using IDR.

Patients in Texas and New York are not facing surprise medical bills and can survive the financial costs of medical treatment when needed.

The bottom line is patients should not face severe financial consequences or ruin because of medical treatment. Today, many Americans are facing financial hardships as a result of COVID-19, and the last thing they need is more stress and strain causes by surprise medical bills.

Cristi Lynne Waltz

East Freedom

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