Texas is the latest state to report a dramatic jump in patients complaining about “surprise” medical bills after a trip to the hospital—on the order of a 1,000% increase between 2012 and 2015, according to the Texas Department of Insurance. The Centers for Public Policy Priorities in Austin notes that while there is no state law against “balance billing” in place, federal lawmakers are working on a bill that would make the practice illegal. Several states have already enacted new laws that would require arbitration between insurers and healthcare providers to settle balance billing disputes, leaving patients out of the process. For its part, the Texas Medical Association says insurers, not clinicians or hospital administration, should take the blame in the Lone Star State.
‘Balance Billing’ Complaints Keep Rising