Podcast: KHN’s ‘What The Health’ Surprise! Fixing Surprise Medical Bills Is Harder Than it Looks

Surprise medical payments — when sufferers obtain an surprising invoice from a well being supplier not of their insurance coverage community — are among the many few issues in well being care nearly everybody needs to unravel. But it seems that nobody within the well being trade needs to take accountability for paying these payments. That might complicate efforts towards a legislative repair, regardless of bipartisan help.

And the 2020 presidential marketing campaign is already in full swing, with candidates staking out some surprisingly numerous positions on easy methods to develop entry to well being care.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Anna Edney of Bloomberg News and Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico.

Also, Rovner interviews Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, who’s stepping down in early April.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

State and federal lawmakers of each events and trade teams say they wish to discover a option to defend sufferers from getting shock payments from out-of-network docs and hospitals after remedy. But they will’t discover settlement on a option to repair the system. Efforts to finish shock payments usually fall into two classes: setting charges for out-of-network providers (which could be primarily based on some proportion of Medicare charges) or requiring sufferers and suppliers to undergo an arbitration course of (a method some states are utilizing). Among Democratic candidates for president, the push for switching to a “Medicare-for-all” system seems to be moderating a bit as extra centrists name for much less sweeping adjustments within the well being care system, hoping to keep away from blowback from individuals who like their present insurance coverage and a united opposition from trade teams. The Trump administration’s price range proposal would put cash behind the trouble to cease the unfold of HIV. But whereas medical advances have made HIV eradication doable, obstacles stay, together with the issue of reaching lots of the communities that want the help.

Plus, for additional credit score, the panelists advocate their favourite well being coverage tales of the week they assume you must learn too:

Julie Rovner: Fortune’s “Death by a Thousand Clicks: Where Electronic Health Records Went Wrong,” by Erika Fry and KHN’s Fred Schulte

Joanne Kenen: NBC’s “Surprise Medical Bills Lead to Liens on Homes and Crippling Debt,” by Lindsey Bomnin and Stephanie Gosk

Anna Edney: Stat News’ “The Astounding 19-Year Journey to a Sea Change for Heart Patients,” by Matthew Herper

Alice Miranda Ollstein: The New York Times’ “States Seek Financial Relief for Family Caregivers,” by KHN’s Samantha Young

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Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a nationwide well being coverage information service. It is an editorially unbiased program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which isn’t affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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