PACEP Update on HB 1862 – Balance Billing LegislationAs promised, PACEP has continued to advocate for legislation that both ends balance billing and maintains an equitable relationship between insurers and emergency physicians. Thanks to your efforts and that of our coalition partners, the Pennsylvania House has again postponed consideration of HB 1862, legislation that in its current form would decimate the ability of emergency physicians to provide care to all Pennsylvanians. It is clear that the House recognizes the need for further deliberations to address this important issue.
The House and Senate will now largely be in recess until mid-March with the exception of a few days in early February to receive the Governor’s budget message. When they return, we can expect that both chambers will consider this issue. It is imperative that we use this time to meet in district with House and Senate members to convey our position that we should ban balance billing and preserve in-network relationships between insurers and emergency physicians. The best way to do this is by mandating direct billing to and payment from insurers using the existing emergency services reimbursement standard in state law and well-structured arbitration to resolve disputes on the appropriateness of that payment.
Please use this link to see how to identify your State Representative and Senator to make an appointment and for the supporting materials PACEP has for you to convey how to get balance billing legislation right. When you have an appointment, please contact PACEP at email@example.com so we can provide you with a detailed approach on how to best convey our message. Thank you for your dedication to our specialty and patients, and please do not hesitate to contact PACEP with any questions.
Arvind Venkat, MD, FACEP
Pennsylvania College of Emergency Physicians