The state senate says it’s time for some doctors to quit billing patients for things the doctors do not do.
Here’s the situation the senate has voted to stop: A doctor orders some tests for a patient. The samples are sent to a lab. The lab sends back the results and bills the doctor for that analysis. The doctor adds a fee on top of the lab’s bill and the patient pays it, never knowing the extra amount the doctor is charging for work the doctor did not do. Not all doctors do it. But enough do that Senator Jack Goodman of Mount Vernon says it that should be a no-no in state law. He says there’s no reason for a doctor who charges patients for everything the doctor DOES do to add a hidden markup on top of the lab charge.
The senate has passed Goodman’s bill bans doctors from billing patients for pathology services that the doctor does not do. One Senator refers to the legislation as a feud within the medical profession. But Goodman says it’s consumer protection.
The bill says doctors can continue billing a patient for collecting specimens, for sending them to the lab, and for telling the patient the results. But it says doctors cannot bill the patient for analysis of the samples unless the doctor actually does that.
Dermatologists have been mentioned as being among the loudest critics of the bill. But now they’ll have to talk the House out of passing it because they haven’t been able to stop it in the senate.
The measure is SS/SB817