Bill Increasing Medical Billing Transparency Advances in the Senate

Legislation requires notification of out-of-network providers at in-network healthcare facilities

Raleigh, N.C. — Today the Senate Health Care Committee approved Senate Bill 505, “Medical Billing Transparency.” The bill seeks to provide patients with more information about healthcare providers, in an effort to prevent the patient from receiving a surprise bill after the fact.

The legislation requires a healthcare facility to notify a patient of any out-of-network provider who will be providing care to them and the estimated cost of services.

“In an emergency, the last thing on someone’s mind should be whether or not the anesthesiologist preparing them for surgery is in or out of their network,” bill sponsor Sen. Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth) said. “Yet, we know far too often someone is saddled with a surprise bill after receiving care because of that very scenario. This legislation gives patients the necessary information to make the best decision about their healthcare and how much it’ll cost them.”

In some parts of the state, 40–50% of emergency room visits result in a surprise bill.

A study of surprise billing found those bills are “2.5 times what most health insurers pay and more than 3 times hospitals’ actual costs.”

The bill will now go to the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee for another hearing.

The official Medium account for N.C. Senate Leader Phil Berger’s press office.