Testimony Supporting SB 2476: Ambulance Surprise Billing

TAHP supports protecting consumers from surprise medical bills through an established mediation process. The Texas mediation process in place today for hospital surprise bills is an appropriate venue to address the unique nature of ambulance billing and ensures consumers are protected. While we support the bill as filed, TAHP would oppose certain requested changes by the ambulance industry. We are concerned in particular about the requirement to pay at the “locally set rate.” While the ambulance industry may argue that these rates are set through a public process, they are actually unilaterally set by a county or municipality without an insurer’s involvement (or any real patient involvement). Mandating this payment requirement would create an incentive for those rates to be increased. Research shows that payment standards based on unilaterally set rates have inflationary impacts.

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