Arizona House OKs bill targeting 'surprise billing'

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

The Arizona House has passed amended legislation that aims to protect patients who receive unanticipated medical bills from out-of-network providers.

Senate Bill 1441 is meant to help patients hit with "surprise billing" by assigning arbitrators to settle disputes for consumers. It would apply to patients who visit in-network facilities and get bills of $1,000 or more from out-of-network providers.

Sponsor Republican Sen. Debbie Lesko has said the measure is modeled after similar Texas legislation.

Opponents say it would likely not solve the problem and would only add more complexity to the already over-regulated health care industry in place.

The House's 40-19 vote sends the legislation back to the Senate before heading to Gov. Doug Ducey's desk. The Senate already approved it on a 25-5 in March.

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