Protecting Consumers from Surprise Medical Bills

In 2016, Capital City Consulting successfully worked on behalf of the Florida Association of Health Plans (FAHP) to protect consumers and outlaw surprise medical billing – also known as balance billing.  During the 2020 Session, Capital City Consulting again worked with the legislature on behalf of FAHP to pass HB 747, which will protect insured Floridians from the only remaining source of surprise medical bills – emergency medical transportation via air ambulance. 

Insurance commissioners and legislatures around the country have attempted to protect consumers and stop this balance billing practice; however, private air ambulance companies have used a federal shield – the Federal Airline Deregulation Act –  to curtail state action and continue to collect surprise bills from patients in what many consider to be predatory manners.   CCC researched case law from other states’ failed attempts to overcome the air ambulance’s federal law shield and developed a novel approach that provides Florida with the best possible chance to withstand legal challenges. This approach is encompassed in HB 747, which passed the Florida Senate and House of Representatives with unanimous support, and once approved by the courts will protect consumers from having to pay no more than their required co-payment to air ambulance companies.

Standing Up for Those in Need

As part of work for the South Broward Hospital District/Memorial Healthcare System, and with the health of Broward County’s most needy in mind, we utilize our relationships with leadership and staff to message potential impacts, which ultimately result in various legislative proposals being defeated or amended. From Low Income Pool Funding and Certificate of Need to Scope of Practice, we rely on our in-depth healthcare experience to achieve successful outcomes for Memorial Healthcare System each session.

Protected ER Patients

Consumers in Florida who purchased health insurance were facing significant balance bills above the insurer reimbursement from out-of-network providers, even when using an in-network hospital. To address this surprise billing situation, Capital City Consulting quarterbacked the enactment of a balance billing prohibition to protect consumers when receiving emergency services or non-emergency services at a hospital that is contracted with their insurer when the provider who treats the consumer at the hospital is out-of-network.

Kept Costs Down for Seniors

Successfully lobbied for legislation that prevented instability in the long-term care insurance market. The legislation ensured that the many seniors who call Florida home would not be impacted by dramatic rate increases and would continue to have access to the benefits of their long-term care insurance.