Venkat’s health care reimbursement legislation approved by committee

Bill would prohibit providers from accepting electronic credit card payments with fees attached

HARRISBURG, May 6 – State Rep. Arvind Venkat’s bill that would require health insurers to offer multiple payment options to in-network health care providers for payment for clinical services and disclose any associated fees with each method of payment was unanimously adopted by the PA House Insurance Committee today.

The legislation, H.B. 1867, would eliminate electronic credit card reimbursements being the sole method of payment and allow health care providers to choose the payment option best suited to their needs. Electronic credit card reimbursements with mandatory fees would only be permitted if the in-network health care provider agrees to that arrangement.

“Administrative fees associated with only having electronic credit cards as the means of payment unnecessarily drains agreed-upon reimbursements received by hard-working doctors, nurses and other health professionals who have dedicated their lives to safeguarding the health of our community,” Venkat, D-Allegheny, said. “Let’s get our health care providers the full compensation they deserve and continue to support them in all their efforts.”

According to a ProPublica article, almost 60% of medical practices said they were compelled to pay fees for electronic payment at least some of the time. These fees can also cost larger medical practices $1 million a year, and small clinics can lose as much as $100,000 due to the fees.

The legislation now moves to the full House for consideration.