I wanted to share this with you as soon as it happened—just a few moments ago, we voted on Senate Bill 1264 in the Texas House, a landmark piece of healthcare reform that ends the practice of surprise billing in Texas.
This is an issue that I’ve worked on for over a decade, and today, with support on both sides of the aisle, we gave initial approval of the bill—clearing a major hurdle on the road to the Governor’s desk.
This bill would eliminate the widespread practice of surprise billing by taking patients out of the arduous and complex mediation process that will now be handled entirely between their medical provider and their insurance plan. Surprise billing (AKA ‘balance billing’) affects millions of Texans every year, when patients are treated by providers that end up being out-of-network. Patients get treatment without realizing that their provider is out-of-network and then, a few weeks later, boom: an unexpected bill appears in their mailbox.
Each year thousands of Texans seek healthcare and, through no fault of their own, end up seeing a provider who isn’t in-network. This could happen in an emergency, when a patient has no choice in where the ambulance takes them. It could happen even when the patient does their due diligence and goes to an in-network facility, but ends up seeing a provider who is out-of-network. In either situation, the patient should never have to bear the cost.
In Texas, we are setting an example for the nation in saying clearly and boldly that sending a surprise medical bill will no longer be tolerated. Period.
I’m proud to have ushered this piece of legislation through the Texas House, and I’m proud to deliver a win for San Antonio as this legislation gets closer to being signed into law.
Your voice in the Capitol,
Representative Trey Martinez Fischer (TMF)