Austin, Texas – This morning, the Texas House passed SB 1264 authored by Sen. Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills) and sponsored by Dr. Tom Oliverson (R-Cypress). This landmark legislation will prevent patients with state-regulated health plans from receiving surprise medical bills. In a situation where patients unknowingly receive out-of-network care, SB 1264 directs providers and health plans to enter arbitration for payment negotiations and prohibits them from sending surprise medical bills to consumers.
“Patients are often on the hook for large, unexpected medical bills,” said Dr. Oliverson. “The vote we took today will take the patient out of disputes over their medical bill altogether. This is an incredibly supportive step in lowering skyrocketing out-of-pocket healthcare costs in Texas.”
SB 1264 establishes an arbitration process that removes the need for patient-triggered mediation and allows the Texas Department of Insurance to mediate that arbitration. Most important to Texans, it bans surprise medical billing of patients in situations where the patients unknowingly and unintentionally receive out-of-network care. This includes emergency care, out-of-network care at in-network facilities, and out-of-network lab and imaging tests.
SB 1264 has already passed in the Texas Senate and will soon be sent to the governor’s desk. To read the full text of the legislation or follow its continued progress, visit Texas Legislature Online at https://capitol.texas.gov/.
For any questions or concerns contact Eiman Siddiqui at Eiman.Siddiqui@House.Texas.Gov or 512.463.0661.