Fight over CA balance billing ban continues

The fight continues over balance billing, hardly a surprise given the stakes involved. A Sacramento Superior Court judge has ruled that the state Department of Managed Health Care was within its rights to ban balance billing, but the California Medical Association has said it will appeal the decision. The case is likely to be heard before the California Supreme Court before long.

Meanwhile, Prime Healthcare Services, which operates 13 acute care hospitals, is being sued for balance billing, but continues to claim that it has done nothing wrong. Proponents of the ban claim it protects consumers. Opponents--notably emergency department physicians, who take all comers--say that it gives too much power to the insurers, who get to name their price and possibly put providers out of business in the process.

To learn more about the fight:
- read this Sacramento Bee piece