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CA Governor Signs Flurry Of Health Laws

By California Healthline  
   October 04, 2016

One new law essentially sets a reimbursement rate requiring insurers to pay out-of-network doctors 125 percent of the amount Medicare pays for the service or the insurer's average contracted rate, whichever is greater.

This article first appeared September 8, 2016 on California Healthline.

By Ana B. Ibarra

Gov. Jerry Brown signed off on a variety of bills in September that aim to protect patients and health care consumers.

The following laws are set to go into effect in 2017.

AB 72: "Surprise medical bill" legislation by Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) was among the most-talked-about measures of the year in Sacramento. It promises to better protect consumers against unexpected medical bills.

Patients can receive such bills when they use a hospital or clinic considered in-network by their insurance plan but are treated by a provider who does not contract with the insurer such as radiologists, anesthesiologists and pathologists. With the goal of keeping patients out of the fight between providers and insurers, the new law essentially sets a reimbursement rate requiring insurers to pay out-of-network doctors 125 percent of the amount Medicare pays for the service or the insurer's average contracted rate, whichever is greater.

"With his signature, Governor Brown has enacted some of the strongest patient protections in the nation against surprise medical bills. This issue has been debated but has gone unresolved for decades," Bonta said in a statement.

California Healthline is a service of the California Health Care Foundation.


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