Atwater pushing Legislation that would eliminate unexpected health care costs

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Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced yesterday, SB516/HB681 as a priority legislative issue for the 2015 Session. This bill, sponsored by Senator Aaron Bean and Representative Carlos Trujillo, eliminates unexpected consumer costs that can arise following emergency medical care by outlining that preferred provider organizations (PPOs), must work directly with medical providers to determine an agreeable payment amount for out-of-network care.

“Consumers carry insurance to defray unexpected medical costs,” said CFO Atwater. “Emergency care shouldn’t leave consumers with surprising and costly medical bills, and this piece of legislation ensures that both consumers and providers will be treated fairly during the billing process.

This legislation aims to create billing processes for out-of-network care that are similarly structured to that of in-network care. By doing so, medical providers and PPOs determine payment amounts, and consumers are guaranteed a predictable fee for out-of-network care.

“We don’t hesitate to take our loved ones to the nearest hospital in a medical emergency, just as doctors don’t hesitate to treat them,” said Bean. “There’s a level of trust there, and it should carry over to the billing process, which should be straightforward and fair to all parties involved.”

“Whether a consumer recognizes the term ‘balance billing’ or not, a vast majority of Floridians have been affected by its exorbitant billing at some point in their lives,”Representative Trujillo said. “I’m proud to sponsor this bill that will take consumers out of this equation altogether.”

jeff atwater serious

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