Last Revision: Dec. 30, 2020
American healthcare consumers have won two recent and hard fought victories for hospital pricing transparency and an end to surprise medical bills from a practice called “balanced-billing” that enabled out-of-network providers to send bills to people for the amount that insurance did not cover.
Hospital Pricing Transparency
Once again the healthcare power players, this time the American Hospital Association (AHA), tried to block consumers from accessing transparent information about their prices. Fortunately, U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington, D.C. dismissed the AHA’s challenge to a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Price Transparency Final Rule requiring them to disclose the prices they negotiate with insurers. The rule will take effect beginning on Jan. 1, 2021. Count on the AHA to appeal to continue their efforts to block informed decision-making by consumers. You can follow the case “American Hospital Association et al v Azar, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, No. 19-03619.
New “Balanced Billing” Protections
While consumers will still have to deal with high prices for prescription drugs and certain health care services, at least they will now be protected against unexpected bills from out-of-network providers of emergency care, air ambulance transportation, and nonemergency care at in in-network hospital when unknowingly treated by an out-of-network provider, including anesthesiologist and laboratories. This bill does not cover ground ambulance services.
The bill does include provisions for consumers who want to use an out-of-network provider and are willing to forfeit protections to see the provider of their choice.
Consumers need to be aware that this new law does not go in effect until 2022.
Last Revised: 08/16/2020
100+ medical funding sources; click or call. Plus, direct links to search for prescription drug assistance program listed on Medicare’s website, and for every State.
You can also explore medical fundraising services and how to win health insurance coverage denials.
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Alphabetical List of Programs
855-447-7277 ARIAD Prescription Drugs
800-292-6363 AstraZeneca Prescription Drugs
xxx-xxx-xxxx Benefits.gov All Patients
800-365-1336 Bone Marrow Foundation Bone Marrow & Stem Cell Transplants
212-465-1300 Chai Lifeline Seriously Ill Patients
312-322-1200 Give Forward Medical Fundraising
844-946-3863 GoFundMe Medical Fundraising
972-608-7141 Good Days Medical Treatments
888-799-2553 Good Rx Prescription Drug Coupons
866-518-4357 GSK Access Prescription Drugs
880-642-8399 HelpHopeLive.org Transplant & Catastrophic Injuries
855-452-5234 Incyte Cares Prescription Drugs
866-435-5677 IPSEN Cares Seriously Ill Patients
855-669-9360 Kyprolis Assistance Kyprolis Treatment Patients
800-503-6897 Needy Meds All Patients
844-617-6468 Ninlaro 1 Point Income Challenged Patients
855-669-9360 Onyx 360 Prescription Drugs
800-676-5884 Patient Rx Prescription Drugs
516-379-8885 Pins for Pauly Childhood Leukemia
617-938-3484 SamFund Adult Cancer Survivors
877-507-3731 Rx Advocates Prescription Drugs
855-877-5346 Rx Hope Prescription Drugs
855-898-2634 XTANDI Support Prescription Drugs
844-998-4421 Zydelig Prescription Drugs
Free Patient & Caregiver E-Chat
Making your way through complex medical systems, doctors appointments, and treatments can be overwhelming. Medicare beneficiaries can get free help with care coordination, medication management, explanation of a diagnosis or treatment, and connections to resources through the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization. Just complete the brief form on their home page. If you need additional assistance finding help for your health care journey, complete the contact form at aPatientsPlace.com.
medicare recently sent 61 million new Medicare cards to members. If you have not received a new card take these steps:
1. Call 1-800-Medicare. they will verify your identity and address, and help you get a new card.
2. Log into your Medicare.gov account to retrieve your new Medicare number or print your official card.
3. Ask your primary care practice or medical provider. they may be able to look up your Medicare number for you.
Here’s the link to Medicare’s new card web page if you want more information. If you need additional help fill out and submit the contact form.