California’s balance billing ban, are hospitals about to give patients refunds?

The fallout from California’s balance billing ban is about to get much, much worse.

A patient is suing an emergency physician group for the $57 he spent last year on the balance bill he had to pay for services his insurance didn’t cover.

If successful, the results for already near-bankrupt hospitals are chilling, as “hospitals and ER doctors could be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars in collective refunds to patients.”

Emergency physician WhiteCoat asks you to consider the following: “When your dad is dripping with sweat, can’t breathe and is clutching his chest with a heart attack and seconds count, the next hospital emergency department that closes because of lack of funding just may be the one down the street from you. When your child stops breathing and you have to drive an hour or more in traffic and hope that you get to the hospital before your child dies, think of the California Supreme Court’s ruling about balance billing and ask yourself whether the lives of your family were worth $57.”

Indeed.

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