Legislation aims to make sure patients get medical bills in timely manner

Medical bill papers, Photo Date: May 7, 2018 / Photo: MGN Online / MGN / (MGN)

WASHINGTON (KOTA TV) - U.S. Senators Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., and Bob Casey, D-Penn., introduced bipartisan legislation that would help ensure patients receive their bills within a reasonable timeframe and that they leave the hospital with a clear list of the services they received during their stay.

“It is unacceptable that it can take months if not years for a patient to receive all medical bills associated with a single hospital stay,” Enzi said. “In this day and age, there is no excuse for these delays.

This legislation would help patients fully understand what they will receive bills for, keep track of what they have and have not paid and make sure bills get to them within 30 days.”

“This bill will ensure that patients receive a full and complete bill in a timely manner after medical care, and that they are not ‘surprised’ by bills months or even years later,” said Casey. “This commonsense, bipartisan legislation works to protect patients and helps increase transparency in billing.”

The legislation aims to expedite the process and provide certainty for patients so they can anticipate what they will pay. It would require health care facilities to present the patient with a list of services rendered during the visit upon discharge and require providers to send all bills to the patient within 30 days.

It would also ensure that the patient not be required to pay those bills any earlier than 30 days after they were sent. Additionally, if a provider submits bills after the first 30 days and the patient pays them by mistake, the legislation would require the provider to refund the patient with interest.