Starter Reading List
Are you new to surprise medical billing issues? Or do you want to brush up on your knowledge? We have tons of resources on surprise medical billing. As a starting point, here are our top four “starter” reads to help policymakers and staff get more up to speed on surprise medical bills.
- An Examination of Surprise Medical Bills and Proposals to Protect Consumers from Them
This 2019 issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation summarizes the latest polling data on surprise medical bills and uses claims data to estimate that 18% of all emergency visits and 16% of in-network hospital stays by people in large employer plans had at least one out-of-network charge care in 2017. Two-thirds of Americans are very worried or somewhat worried about being able to afford surprise medical bills. Learn more about what the data says about surprise medical bills here.
- States Are Taking New Steps to Protect Consumers from Balance Billing, But Federal Action Is Necessary to Fill Gaps
This 2019 blog from The Commonwealth Fund discusses the five states—Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington—that moved forward with surprise medical billing legislation in 2019. (For even more, check out this update from 2020.) This brings the total count of states with at least some protections against surprise medical bills to 29 states. The blog underscores the momentum for state action, the variety of approaches that states are taking, and the need to protect patients from surprise medical bills. Find more resources on state efforts to address surprise medical bills here.
- Stopping Surprise Medical Bills: Federal Action is Needed
This 2017 Health Affairs blog from researchers at Brookings provides an overview of key data on surprise medical bills and discusses the legal and policy reasons why states alone cannot protect more than half of consumers with private health insurance. The blog discusses relevant federal laws (such as the Affordable Care Act and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act) and concludes with suggestions for crafting a federal solution to surprise medical bills. Find more analysis of the various federal proposals, congressional testimony, and more on federal efforts to address surprise medical bills here.
- Consumers, Businesses, and Insurance Providers Come Together to Protect Americans from Surprise Medical Bills
These 2018 guiding principles for how to protect patients from receiving surprise medical bills were developed by America’s Health Insurance Plans, the American Benefits Council, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Consumers Union, The ERISA Industry Committee, Families USA, the National Association of Health Underwriters, the National Business Group on Health, and the National Retail Federation. Diverse stakeholders have adopted similar guiding principles in issue briefs and letters to Congress. Read more about these other perspectives here.