Senate Health Panel To Consider Allowing Out-Of-Network Benefits For Disabled, And Expanding Health Care Facility Reporting Requirements Thursday

TRENTON – The Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee will meet tomorrow, May 27 at 9:30 AM in Committee Room 1 of the State House Annex, to consider a number of bills, including a measure to permit disabled residents to receive in-network health benefits from out-of-network providers.

Under the measure, S-358, which is sponsored by Senators Loretta Weinberg and Joseph F. Vitale, disabled patients would be permitted to pay their normal in-network co-pay for treatment and services at out-of-network facilities, and insurance carriers would reimburse the out-of-network provider at the same rate as they would in-network facilities.

A second measure would expand the reporting requirement under the “Health Care Facility-Associated Infection Reporting and Prevention Act.”

The Vitale measure, S-817, would permit certain patient data to be reported to the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) under the “Health Care Facility-Associated Infection Reporting and Prevention Act.” This measure comes as a response to a 2008 Government Accountability Office report, which found that states which do not independently check the accuracy of infection data submitted by hospitals run the risk of providing the public with inaccurate numbers, because some hospital data is not as thorough and complete as data submitted by others.

The Committee is also scheduled to hear testimony from DHSS Commissioner Poonam Alaigh on her priorities for the Department. The Panel will also hear testimony from invited guests concerning epilepsy. #

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