Venkat’s health care reimbursement legislation passes House

Health insurers would have to provide multiple payment options and transparency to health care providers.

HARRISBURG, June 4 – 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 passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives with bipartisan support 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.

“Today, PA doctors, nurses and medical professionals alike are a step closer to receiving the full compensation they deserve for the high quality of care they provide every day,” Venkat, D-Allegheny, said. “I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their affirmative votes, both as a fellow legislator and as a practicing physician.”

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 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 Senate for consideration.