Negotiated Fee Rate
What is the regular Price?
The Negotiated Fee – Rate is the amount of payment that an Insurance Company has negotiated with the Participating Provider as the maximum they can charge both the Insurance Company and YOU! hioscar.com/negotiated-rate * Page 42 Blue Cross EOC & 167 More explanation calhealth.net
So, NO a doctor on the Insurance Companies Participating Provider list, can NOT make you pay the difference! That’s why it’s important to double check with the doctor and the LIST!
Excerpt from Blue Shield Explanation
It’s the secret number the insurance company and the provider have worked into their contract. The industry often calls that number the “adjusted rate” or the “negotiated rate.” NPR.org
How do I know that the amount I’m being billed
is the correct amount?
Once your insurance carrier pays their portion of the bill, they will send you an explanation of benefits (EOB) to show how the claim was paid. You can compare your EOB to the statement sent by the hospital. How the carrier paid the claim is based on their contract with us and their contract with you. If you feel the insurance company should have paid a higher amount, please contact them directly for resolution. Scripts.org Patient Billing FAQ’s
Todd Friedman, Esq. can help if debt collectors are harassing you when you don’t owe the $$$
Might it be better to pay cash?
AB 72 Bonta
Doctors at Hospital must take hospital negotiated rate
Blue Shield – Announcement
California Assembly Bill (AB) 72 Out-Of-Network Coverage and Member Cost-Sharing
New California law Effective July 1, 2017, this new state law protects individuals from receiving unexpected “surprise or balance” medical bills from an out-of-network (OON) doctor when receiving inpatient and outpatient non-emergency care and services at an in-network healthcare facility such as a hospital, clinic, lab, imaging center or other healthcare facility.
Changes to out-of-network coverage and cost-sharing When individuals go to an in-network facility for care but receive services from an out-of-network doctor or healthcare provider, they only have to pay their in-network cost-sharing amount that counts toward the annual deductible and annual out-of-pocket maximum limits according to their health plan. An out-of-network doctor should only bill individuals after both parties have received a copy of the Explanation of Benefits (EOB) that reflects the correct in-network cost-sharing amount owed for the care received. If for any reason the out-of-network doctor or healthcare provider receives payment that is more than the cost share allowed, the out-of-network doctor must refund the overpayment within 30 days. Below is a list of affected Blue Shield health plans
More explanation from Blue Shield in a private email 8.14.2017
ALL hospitalizations require pre-auth unless they are an emergency. In this pre-auth process, the provider(s) and the Plan are coordinating and acknowledging in-network. This process prohibits people from using out of network providers for procedures ~ If while in the hospital, a person requires additional care that was outside the original scope of the intent, they cannot be charged as out of network. I used anesthesiologist’s as an example in the meeting as it is that issue that we have all been dealing with for years and years.
Balance – Surprise Billing
Balance Billing is when an insurance plan covers less than what a doctor, hospital, or lab service wants to be paid. The health-care provider demands, bills the balance from the patient. Uncertain and fearing the calls of a debt collector, the patient pays up. Business Week 8.27.2008 is NOT allowed in CA for Emergency Care, even if out of network. See our provider finder
Feds are looking into CA’s legislation to craft something on a National Level Modern Health Care 8.30.2019 *
Providence.org – Difference between Urgent and Emergency Care
1986 Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) CMS.gov (Definition Emergency 2014 Evidence of Coverage Page 80) requires any hospital participating in Medicare (which nearly all do) to provide emergency care to anyone who needs it, the government often indirectly bore the cost of those without the ability to pay. Wikipedia
ACA – still problems with balance billing for out of network providers (CA HealthLine 2.18.2015)
Interim Rules Patient Bill of Rights
Los Angeles times article about new laws and pending legislation
Anthem in some states is not paying for an ER visit if you could’ve gone to urgent care
Does the negotiated rate apply to prescriptions Rx too?
That is, if I have Blue Shield Bronze Plan with no Rx coverage till the $7k OOP Out of Pocket Maximum has been met, do I get the lower negotiated – contracted rates?
Yes, see excerpts from EOC below.
Blue Shield Bronze PPO EOC – Relevant excerpts
Blue Shield Participating Providers
Blue Shield Participating Providers include primary care Physicians, specialists, Hospitals, and Alternate Care Services Providers that have a contractual relationship with Blue Shield to provide services to Members of this Plan. Participating Providers are listed in the Participating Provider directory. See below, thus Pharmacies are participating providers.
Participating Providers agree to accept Blue Shield’s payment, plus the Member’s payment of any applicable Deductibles, Copayments, and Coinsurance or amounts in excess of specified Benefit maximums as payment-in-full for Covered Services, except… Page 2 of EOC
Blue Shield negotiates contracted rates with Participating Pharmacies for Drug. If the Member’s Plan has a Calendar Year Pharmacy Deductible, the Member is responsible for paying the contracted rate for Drugs until the Calendar Year Pharmacy Deductible is met.
The Member must pay the applicable Copayment or Coinsurance for each prescription when the Member obtains it from a Participating Pharmacy. When the Participating Pharmacy’s contracted rate is less than the Member’s Copayment or Coinsurance, the Member only pays the contracted rate. Page 25 of EOC
Learn More===> Page 23 of EOC explains all about Rx benefits
Prior research on our website
Here’s how Medicare under Part D handles it. I grant you, that I don’t understand what CMS is saying here…
Part D Definitions 42 CFR 423.100
The Blue Cross Specimen Policy explains Rx coverage starting on page 120.
Insure Me Kevin.com on Bronze Deductible….
Out of Network Problems
Insure Me Kevin.com on MD’s using bait and switch to mess with the networks 6.18.2016
- Health plans must update their printed directories at least every quarter and their online directories at least every week if providers report changes.
- Provider directories must be posted online and be available to anyone, not just enrollees. Print directories must be available upon request.
- The directories must “prominently” display directions for consumers who want to report inaccuracies. Upon receiving complaints, plans have 30 business days to makes changes, if necessary.
- Providers must inform plans within five business days if they are no longer accepting new patients — or, alternately, if they will start accepting them.
- Health plans can delay payments to providers who fail to respond to attempts to verify information.
The law also gives consumers recourse. Let’s say you use a provider directory to find a doctor but you’re billed the out-of-network price because the directory was wrong. In that case, health plans must reimburse you the amount beyond what you would have paid to see an in-network doctor. CA Health Line 8.26.2016
Bay Area – Blue Cross – virtually no providers – Insure Me Kevin.com 8.25.2016
Out of Network Provider
The use of health care providers who have not contracted with the health plan to provide services. HMO members are generally not covered for out-of-network services except in emergency situations. Members enrolled in preferred provider organizations (PPO) and point-of-service (POS) coverage’s can go out-of-network, but will pay some additional costs. Learn More ==> Specimen Policy Definition page 168
Hospitals will be required to post online their standard charges!
This was to have started in 1.1.2018 I’m not sure if it really has. Did you know they are already required to do this if requested? Cal Broker 8.7.2018 * The Hill * CMS is looking for a contractor to create a price comparison tool. Modern Health Care 8.28.2018 LA Times 6.10.2016
Trump Executive Order
Trump Executive order directs federal agencies to issue guidance that would:
- Require hospitals to disclose information about negotiated rates in a format that’s understandable and usable by patients and consumers.
- Require insurance companies to provide patients with information about the cost of their care, including out-of-pocket costs before they receive services.
- Develop a comprehensive roadmap for consistent, limited, and consumer-centric quality metrics.
- Expand the availability and use of HSAs to cover direct primary care arrangements and healthcare sharing ministries. It also seeks to include more preventive services that can be covered in the deductible period.
Issue guidance on the number of funds that can be carried over at the remainder of the year for FSAs. WhiteHouse.Gov *
For a fact sheet on the Calendar Year (CY) 2020 Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) & Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) Price Transparency Requirements for Hospitals to Make Standard Charges Public final rule (CMS-1717-F2), please visit: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/cy-2020-hospital-outpatient-prospective-payment-system-opps-policy-changes-hospital-price
For a fact sheet on the Transparency in Coverage Proposed Rule (CMS-9915-P), please visit: https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/fact-sheets/transparency-coverage-proposed-rule-cms-9915-p
Some argue that negotiated prices are proprietary — that is, legally protected trade secrets — and that their disclosure could foster collusion between providers. Other observers maintain that disclosure could help policymakers understand what is driving cost increases and how best to target efforts to make care more affordable.
The Secret of Health Care Prices: Why Transparency Is in the Public Interest, analyzes, for the first time, the legal and economic implications of collecting and releasing this data, including a review of trade secret statutes and case law regarding the protection of negotiated prices as trade secrets and data dissemination practices from the 18 states with mandatory APCD collection programs.
Accompanying the report, a blog post examines recent developments in price transparency policy, the arguments for and against the release of proprietary price information, and steps California could take to help ensure its new database is a success
Resources to find out the costs of Medical Services
transplant.org – costs per transplant
Kaiser Family Foundation – Tons of Information
Blue Cross 2010 Medical Cost Trends 4 pages
Newscast about Hospitals being required to post rates - charges
Health Insurance Explained
Guaranteed Issue - No Pre X Clause
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