August 31, 2016
Area(s) of Interest: AB 72 Advocacy Payor Issues and Reimbursement
Today, the state legislature passed Assembly Bill 72 to help reduce surprise medical bills. In response, the California Medical Association (CMA) commended their work and urged further action to better address the root of the problem: increasingly narrow provider networks.
Under AB 72, health plans could reimburse some out-of-network providers who provide non-emergency services at in-network facilities at a rate that is much lower than the plans’ current rates with contracted physicians. CMA believes the state must take action to adopt new standards to ensure timely access and network adequacy to avoid narrow networks — the root cause of surprise medical bills.
“The California Medical Association believes eliminating unexpected medical bills is in the best interest of patients,” said CMA President Steven Larson, M.D., MPH. “CMA has worked tirelessly with AB 72 policymakers and stakeholders over the last year and a half, and we commend the legislature for acknowledging the problem. CMA ultimately adopted a neutral position to take the onus off patients, but still has concerns that the bill encourages even narrower provider networks and further limits patients’ health care options. We look forward to our continued work toward network adequacy to keep patients’ wait times reasonable and health care bills affordable.”
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The California Medical Association represents the state's physicians with more than 41,000 members in all modes of practice and specialties. CMA is dedicated to the health of all patients in California. For more information, please follow CMA on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
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#CALeg passes #AB72; @cmadocs urges more on root cause of surprise medical bills: narrow provider networks http://cal.md/2bKfAf5
#AB72 may help end surprise medical bills, but more needed so patients have access to in-network providers http://cal.md/2bKfAf5 #CaLeg