Bradley attorney Stephanie Hoffmann was quoted in Relias Media on the No Surprises Act, which took effect on January 1, 2022.
Hoffmann said, “Under the No Surprises Act, ‘emergency services’ subject to the law’s protections include any additional services rendered after a patient is stabilized that are related to the emergency visit.”
Emergency departments (ED) could face an uptick in patient complaints about “surprise” bills, even if everything was handled above board. “Patients are going to be very easily able to submit their concerns,” Hoffmann stated.
ED providers must show a good faith effort to notify patients about out-of-pocket costs and withdraw any inadvertent bills (e.g., the ED entered the wrong insurance information).
“The law does have a sort of escape valve, where if you did not know you were violating the law and you withdraw the bill within 30 days, that instance is not going to be penalized,” Hoffmann explained.
Ideally, ED staff educate patients on what to expect from their bill, but this usually is not reality in busy EDs. “There’s not much time for administrative work on the front end in an emergency,” Hoffmann said. “That’s going to remain a challenge.”
The complete article, "Underpayment Is Major Concern for EDs with New Surprise Billing Law," was published by Relias Media on February 1, 2022.