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Letter: A meaningful solution to surprise medical billing

SHARE Letter: A meaningful solution to surprise medical billing
Letter to the editor

Deseret News

Surprise medical billing has affected 70% of Americans, and is a huge cause for avoiding medical care and financial hardship in our community. Currently there are many solutions proposed to end surprise billing and protect patients.

Solutions like benchmarking, where the government will control the market rate of services will ultimately damage and decrease medical treatment availability in our rural communities. With Utah being a large and beautiful state, we have many small towns that this could affect greatly.

There are other good solutions, the only meaningful one will include IDR, or independent dispute resolution. IDR protects patients, as well as providers of medical services by having an arbiter resolve disputes over billing between insurers and providers. Leaving patients able to focus on recovery peacefully, knowing that there will be no surprise out of network bill that will show up in their mailbox.

New York is a good example of what independent dispute resolution can do for their citizens, it has saved consumers $400 million, has seen a 34% decrease in out-of-network charges, and 9% decrease in in-network emergency room payments.

Congress is supposed to vote on this issue within the next week or so, and should not rush this issue through the legislative process unless it includes a proven independent dispute resolution framework. That will be only way to end surprise billing without harming access, quality, or affordability for patients. 

Kylee Larsen

West Jordan