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‘Baseball Style’ Arbitration Floated for Surprise Medical Bills

May 16, 2019, 9:30 AM

Mandating “baseball style” arbitration to resolve disputes between health insurers and medical professionals over large unexpected bills is working its way into congressional talks on protecting patients.

There is widespread agreement among policymakers that consumers shouldn’t receive large unexpected bills from emergency room doctors, anesthesiologists, or other medical providers. That usually happens after they receive emergency care or surgical procedures at hospitals that aren’t part of their insurance plan’s network.

But if the patients don’t pay, who will? It’s either the insurer, which is sometimes an employer, or the doctor or hospital. Insurers want certainty in set rates for services, ...

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