Surprise billing (medical debt)

Surprise Medical Billing

Protect patients from surprise billing and medical debt by ensuring that consumers receiving care at an Emergency Department or having in-patient or out-patient surgery in-network facility are charged the in-network rate for out-of-network providers working in that facility.

The intent of this legislation is to stop surprise medical billing, which happens when a patient is treated at a health care facility that is in her health plan’s network, but may unexpectedly receive services or see certain providers within that in-network facility that are out of her health plan’s network – resulting in a surprise medical bill for the out-of-network rate. These unexpected charges can be hundreds or thousands of dollars.

This bill would ensure that patients pay in-network rates at in-network facilities when being treated in an Emergency Department or having in-patient/out-patient surgery. Thirteen other states restrict surprise balanced billing – and it’s time Washington did, too.

HB 2114: Surprise Billing

WSNA supports surprise billing legislation that would:

  • Ensure patient pay only in-network cost sharing amounts when receiving treatment in an Emergency Department or having in-patient or out-patient surgery in an in-network health care facility – even if services are provided by an out-of-network provider.
  • Take the patient out of the middle by requiring binding arbitration of balance billing disputes between health carriers and out-of-network providers.

​Nurses experience issues with balanced billing, too

Have you or your family had an experience with a surprise medical bill, based on treatment by an out-of-network provider in an in-network facility? If so, please share your story with us!