Physicians head to Capitol Hill to advocate against surprise billing

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- Dozens of doctors are meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill Tuesday to voice their concerns about surprise billing.

Doctors are advocating on Capitol Hill Tuesday for an end to surprise billing, which they say can hurt the doctor-patient relationship. (Source: AP Graphics)

"Surprise billing" refers to extra charges that patients incur when they have to use providers that are out of their insurance network. High fees often come as a shock to patients when in emergency or serious situations where they are unable to select providers in their insurance network.

As an ER physician in College Station, Texas, Dr. Matthew Brice has seen the impact that surprise billing can take on the relationship between doctors and patients.

"You kinda of grow up with this process and knowing that you should not pay attention to insurance because you're there to provide the care needed at the time," Dr. Brice said. "Without regard to ability of patients to pay. And over the last few years, that conversation between myself and my patients has had to enter in several times."

Dr. Brice will meet with the offices of Texas Rep. Bill Flores and the offices of Texas Senators Cornyn and Cruz to discuss this issue at a federal level.

Texas is one of the states that has addressed surprise billing at a state level. The doctors will continue to push for a solution to the issue to help preserve the doctor-patient relationships for everyone, Brice said.
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