|Posted:||February 18, 2021 01:04 PM|
|From:||Representative Dan Frankel|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Exposing and Stopping Surprise Hospital Fees|
|Currently in Pennsylvania, patients can face “outpatient facility fees” when they see the doctor in a doctor’s office if that physician practice has been purchased by a hospital system. Sometimes these fees can cost several times the doctor’s visit itself, and they are usually the responsibility of the patient.
Similarly, patients are starting to discover “COVID” or “PPE” fees on their bills. These add-on fees – which can range from a few dollars to thousands of dollars – are often charged directly to the consumer to cover the cost of additional PPE and sanitation. These fees are also not typically covered by insurance.
Surprise balance billing legislation at the federal level now protects consumers from surprise “Out-of-Network” charges, but various permissible fees continue to represent impossible-to-predict costs to health care consumers.
Pennsylvanians, many of whom are struggling to keep the lights on and put food on the table, should not also be asked to pay extra for the basics of hospitals keeping themselves clean and workers and patients safe during Covid-19, and they certainly shouldn’t be paying the cost of hospitals purchasing physician offices.
My legislation will seek to protect consumers by banning outpatient facility fees for certain procedures, as well as COVID/PPE fees. Some facility fees would still be permissible however, my legislation would require that those fees be disclosed to patients ahead of time. It is time that we make a concerted, bi-partisan effort to protect our constituents from these fees, and I hope you will join me in support of this important legislation.