Letter: Congress needs to help keep medical costs low
A trip to the emergency room can be a daunting experience. Needing urgent medical attention is almost always stressful and traumatic, especially in this age of the coronavirus pandemic.
When you or a family member needs immediate medical care, the last thing on your mind should be whether the doctor who helped you was out-of-network. Yet, too often, families go through the trauma of a medical emergency only to relive the experience when a surprise medical bill arrives in the mail. Often patients don’t choose the medical professional they see, and patients shouldn’t be on the hook when an insurance company decides not to reimburse a doctor or medical facility for treatment.
There is a solution to this problem and it is simple. We need Congress to pass Independent Dispute Resolution to solve the problem. IDR has bipartisan support and uses a neutral third-party to determine the fair-market value for medical treatment in billing disputes.
As someone who travels often, we need IDR to be the national standard and not left up to each state to set their own standards. With so many American families struggling right now, a surprise medical bill is the last thing anyone needs. Congress needs to keep billing between insurers and providers, and pass IDR immediately.