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CEO DATELINE – Medical, insurance groups create guide to avoid surprise billing

Nov. 12, 2018
By Walt Williams

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The Healthcare Financial Management Association has published a new guide to help consumers avoid unexpected medical bills, the news site HealthLeaders reported.

The new guide was crafted with input from the American Hospital Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans and American Medical Association. It is available as a free download on HFMA’s website and can be used both by consumers and by medical providers wanting to shape their communications outreach to potential patients.

“Hospitals and health systems are encouraged to include the guide in their pre-procedure communications with patients and post it on the billing and payment page of their websites—no permission needed,” Richard Gundling, senior vice president of healthcare financial practices at HFMA, told HealthLeaders in a statement.

“Surprise billing” is the term given to situations where insured patients end up with higher medical bills than they expected, often as a result of inadvertently receiving care from out-of-network providers. A number of states have considered legislation in recent years to limit surprise billing or at least make the billing process more transparent. More recently, the issue has gained traction in Congress with lawmakers for both parties proposing bills to limit the practice.

The guide can be downloaded for free from the HFMA website at