The California Association of Health Underwriters, Sacramento, is trying to protect members of managed care plans from huge, unexpected hospital charges.
CAHU is lobbying for Assembly Bill 2389, a measure that would require health plans and hospitals to include provisions for payment of most nonpreferred providers in preferred provider contracts.
The amended version of the bill would not apply to emergency room departments or ER doctors.
The California Society of Pathologists, Sacramento, is calling A.B. 2389 a forced contracting mandate. The California Healthcare Association, Sacramento, a major hospital trade group, also opposes the bill.
But the California Assembly Health Committee recently voted 14-1 to approve the bill.
CAHU is sponsoring the bill, which was written by Assembly member Paul Koretz, D-West Hollywood, Calif., because many CAHU members have heard complaints from insured consumers about receiving big bills from out-of-network anesthesiologists, radiologists, pathologists and other specialists who helped care for them while they were in in-network hospitals, CAHU says.