CARSON CITY — Unions and patient advocates presented legislation Monday attempting to build on the momentum of other states to end surprise medical bills in Nevada.
The Democratic-backed proposal would cap the amount that could be charged when people visit hospitals that accept their insurance but involuntarily see specialized doctors who do not. It would also apply to people who need emergency medical care and are rushed, either by ambulance or their own means, to a facility that does not accept their insurance.
There is no correlation between bill charges and actual costs when a patient visits the wrong physician, Kathy Silver of Health Services Coalition said at a legislative hearing, citing cases in which people paid nine or 10 times more for out-of-network care than the same services when covered by insurance.
"Patients don't have an ability to negotiate," Silver said. "When they get a bill like this, they are completely out of luck — they are going to have to pay whatever the doctor says."