“Balancing Billing” Decision Protects Patients From Unfair Medical Bills

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Santa Monica, CA — Consumer Watchdog released the following statement regarding the California Supreme Court’s ruling today on the issue of "balance billing" in Prospect Medical Group v. Northridge Emergency Medical Group.

"The high court’s unanimous decision sends a clear message that patients can’t be asked to pay more when insurers and doctors disagree about money. The ruling puts the burden of disputed medical fees where it belongs, on insurers and doctors, not on the patients who are far too often caught in the middle," said Consumer Watchdog’s Health Care Policy Director Jerry Flanagan. "Health insurers and HMOs are as much to blame for the problem as doctors.  Sometimes balance billing results when doctors want too much money.  Other times, insurers refuse to pay fair rates.  One thing for certain is that patients should not have to pay a cent."

Today’s decision overturns previous rulings that found that state law did not prohibit balance billing.

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Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdog
Providing an effective voice for American consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Non-partisan.

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