In States Without Balance Billing Legislation, Patients Continue to See “Surprise” Invoices for Out-of-Network Providers

Balance billing in healthcare is back in the limelight. An article published by NBC News highlights the experience of a Colorado patient who received a surgery at an in-network hospital, but the surgeon who operated on her was out-of-network. The result was a “surprise” bill, which ended up with a collection agency after it was not paid. The collection agency filed a lien on the patient’s home and began garnishing the patient’s wages.

Balance -- or "surprise" -- billing refers to the practice where healthcare providers request payment from patients for the difference between the cost of the medical services provided and the amount covered by the patient’s insurance company.

Several states have taken the initiative to protect their residents from receiving these surprise invoices. States that have already enacted balance billing laws include:

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