So no law passes and patients keep receiving the bills.
SB 293 would base the price list on what insurance companies have already negotiated in their other contracts. Doctors have traditionally opposed that. The state Department of Insurance would create the price database, and there would be additional options for independent arbitration.
Hufstetler and state Rep. Richard Smith, R-Columbus, have been key opponents on the surprise billing issue, but recently they've been meeting and trying to hash it out. Smith is the new chairman of the House Rules Committee, but he was chairman of the House Insurance Committee. He was seen as an advocate for insurance companies' position on surprise billing.
Smith said he and Hufstetler had come to agreement on a lot of the sticking points.
The question is whether insurance companies and doctors’ groups who have influence in the Legislature will agree.
Dr. John Sy, the president of the Georgia College of Emergency Physicians, a group that advocates for doctors, knows about the negotiations but was noncommittal in an interview Tuesday night. He said the organization did not support or oppose any proposal yet.