Medical billing changes coming to Arizona

The Arizona Senate recently passed Senate Bill 1115 which would require health care providers to list out their direct pay or cash prices for you to see.

The bill's sponsor is Senator Nancy Barto (R-Dist. 7) and it's supported by Valley Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Eric Novack

"We need a nudge to actually sit down, and think about how do we value the services that we provide," said Dr. Novack.

Novack tells ABC15 SB 1115 would allow health care patients to shop around and make a more educated decision on price.

"First of all it doesn't matter if you're low income or high income. Everybody finds pricing in healthcare to be extremely frustrating...it's very hard to get straight answers," Dr. Novack told ABC15.

Right now you could be paying a higher negotiated price through your insurance company. But providers are required to charge that price if they bill your insurance company.

"If you can get a situation where you can get could save 30-40 dollars,  that's real money when gas is $4 a gallon, food prices are high, and you need to pay rent,"  said Dr. Novack

But if you do take that cash price, you'll be responsible for billing your insurance or having the costs put towards your deductible. So make sure you ask for the billing code and paperwork.

"One of the ways providers can lower their costs  is if they don't' have to go through that process of billing and collection,"  explained Dr. Novack.

While many healthcare providers will offer cash prices, not all do.  Novack says SB 1115 would change that, and make it easier to get those prices.

 

While SB 1115 is tied up with lawmakers, Novack says there are ways you can save now:

1.     Don't be afraid to ask for prices

2.     Always ask if those tests or follow up appointments are necessary

3.     Ask if there will be any ‘added costs'.

4.     Call your Dr. before your appointment and ask for the discounted cash or direct pay price.

5.     Get your prices in writing.

6.      If you're billing your insurance, don't forget to get your paperwork and billing codes.

If SB 1115 passes, it will also prevent any government agencies from demanding reporting or setting or controlling prices.

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