Ducey signs law targeting 'surprise billing'

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Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Gov. Doug Ducey has signed legislation that aims to protect patients who receive unanticipated medical bills from out-of-network providers.

Ducey signed the measure backed by insurance companies Monday.

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

Advocates say Senate Bill 1441 will help solve a state issue patients have no control over.

[RELATED: Arizona Legislature OKs bill targeting 'surprise billing']

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 add more complexity to the already over-regulated health care industry in place. They also criticize it as threatening the free market system.

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