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Relating to physician and health care provider directories for certain health benefit plans.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 1742 would require a directory maintained by certain health benefit plan issuers to include any physician or health care provider specialty, and require the directory to be electronically searchable by specialty. The directory would be required to state whether each physician is a preferred provider, exclusive provider, or network physician or of the physician group in which the facility-based physician practices. Health benefit plan issuers would be required to update their directories to conform with the specific requirements of the bill's provisions no later than January 1, 2020.
The purpose of this bill is to help reduce balance billing or surprise billing by making it easier for patients at network facilities to know whether the provider attending to them is an in-network provider covered by their insurance.
Texas Action remains neutral on SB 1742 because it does not affect our liberty principles. However, we recognize that this bill would increase transparency and seek to prevent surprise billing without creating an undue burden on health benefit plan issuers, which we encourage.