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Balance billing

Jeff Atwater praises Legislature for curbing “balance billing”

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Florida CFO Jeff Atwater praised his colleagues in the Legislature Friday for passing HB 221, which curbs “balance billing” by Florida health insurance providers. “The Florida Legislature was tasked with striking a finely tuned and balanced solution to a multifaceted problem,” Atwater said. “While all sides of this health care community presented valid perspectives and strong opinions throughout the legislative process, I’m pleased that our legislative leaders kept consumers at the forefront of this conversation, ultimately removing them from this…

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Florida House passes balance billing fix

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The Florida House of Representatives Wednesday passed its version of a measure aimed at protecting patients from the practice of “balance billing.” The bill (HB 221) was approved by an 116-1 vote, with only state Rep. Julio Gonzalez in opposition. The Venice Republican is an orthopedic surgeon. The legislation was a priority of CFO Jeff Atwater, who opposes balance billing. “To be balanced billed is to receive a request for payment from an out-of-network provider to cover the cost that your insurance company…

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Balance billing: Someone didn’t get the memo

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Today in the Orlando Sentinel, an emergency room physician by the name of Jay L. Falk, on behalf of the Florida College of Emergency Physicians (FCEP), wrote a column titled, “Emergency Physicians Seek Solutions To Fair Treatment,” in support of a balance billing fix. Dr. Falk, like everyone else, wants to hold patients harmless. He suggests that the insurance companies pay out-of-network doctors a fee based on an independent database, mainly FAIR Health. FAIR Health, for those who have not been involved in…

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Balance billing measure clears 2nd Senate panel

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A Senate panel on Tuesday OK’d a measure that would ban the practice of “balance billing,” when insurance companies often unexpectedly slam a customer with a high bill for using an out-of-network health care provider. The measure (SB 1442), carried by GOP state Sen. Rene Garcia of Hialeah, now moves from the Banking and Insurance Committee to Appropriations. The vote was unanimous: 11-0. Garcia’s aim is to get patients out from between the provider and the payer, meaning health insurance companies. A…

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Balance billing measure moves ahead despite reservations

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A House panel on financial issues got deep in the weeds of health care policy Tuesday as lawmakers took up a controversial proposal to change the way insurers are reimbursed by hospitals and other providers when patients receive care beyond their insurance network. The deceptively simple 11-page bill was the subject of over an hour of testimony and debate.  Insurance and business groups generally supported it while many physicians and providers’ groups, with some exceptions, opposed it. The proposal –…

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Today on Context Florida: Florida’s Great Bear Hunt, fixing balance billing and the Renewable Fuel Standard

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Today on Context Florida: LBJ declared the War on Poverty; the GOP waged a War on Women; the state of Florida has never ceased its War on Nature. And on the latest front, says Diane Roberts – Bears! As of Monday, Florida’s got 300 fewer bears taking advantage of human hospitality, drinking our liquor, stealing our women and also our leftover pizza. The Great Bear Hunt was, according to the nice people at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (Motto:…

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Praise for Carlos Trujillo

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Has anyone else but me noticed that there have been more than a few stories on controversial bills that carry the name “Trujillo“? Good for him. Too often, too many lawmakers come to Tallahassee to go along and get along. But when you choose to take on the FMA or Publix or abortion clinics in your career – that takes guts. But when you take them on all at once in three different bills, well, that’s worthy of a 10-gallon…

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