As an in-home caregiver for many years, I've seen the struggles of many clients and their families going through difficult and challenging times. One of the most frustrating things I witness is insurance companies and providers telling patients, "yes, it's covered" or "yes, we can bill that." Their physician writes the medically necessary order and the prescription is sent off. Then things quickly get tricky...
I work with elderly and disabled individuals who need assistance and will never fit into a tidy little box. Billing, coding and medical necessity standards must be evaluated and upgraded to allow providers to do what they do, provide! Beneficiaries need access to the medicines and care they need — not just what is available to bill.
I assume no one would argue against protecting patients from surprise bills and am glad Congress is taking up the issue. If a patient could reasonably assume their care or medically necessary supplies were provided in-network, they should not be hit with a massive bill for out-of-network goods or services.
Often the smallest thing can make a big difference to the clients I assist and care for — whether it's oxygen, compression garments or durable medical equipment.
We cannot allow insurance companies to profit off efforts to protect patients. Congress should find a solution to surprise billing that is fair to patients and providers — don't turn this into another handout for insurance companies. I choose to better the quality of life for those who need it. Who's with me?
Lee Anne Harms
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