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Georgia House Joins Push to Limit Surprise Medical Bills

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Lawmakers in Georgia are broadly backing a measure to keep patients from receiving unexpected medical bills. The House voted 164-4 on Tuesday for House Bill 888. It would require insurers in many cases to pay for care by a doctor or at a hospital that is not within their network of medical providers. It also would limit patient liability for any costs.

District 117 Representative Houston Gaines says this will make a difference for patients.

“Today we took another really big step in the house with surprise billing as we work to address this challenge across our state,” Gaines said “I believe the legislation that we move forward today-chairman Hawkins bill and chairman newton’s bill-which I was proud to be a cosponsor on, are going to really move us in the right direction.”

Gaines said the effort received broad support at the Capitol.

“I appreciate the House and the Senate and the Governor being a part of this conversation, coming up with this solution that will make a difference in patients’ lives. This is impacting patients every single day and I’m confident we’re going to move ourselves in the right direction with these bills.”

The Senate already unanimously passed its version of the same bill. One chamber can now ratify the other's action and send the measure to Gov. Brian Kemp to be signed into law. The Republican Kemp is supporting the effort.

Lawmakers have been working on legislation to limit surprise billing for several years. But the effort has gained momentum this session. states don’t regulate most large employer plans, so federal action is needed to protect all patients.

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