TEXAS, USA — The Patient Health Care Protection Bill that works to help hospital patients avoid surprise bills became law on Monday.

It was written by Texas Sen. José Menéndez, co-written with Sen. Dawn Buckingham, Sen. Charles Schwertner and Sen. Judith Zaffirini and sponsored by House Representative Julie Johnson.

It works with healthcare consumers and providers, requiring them to clearly identify which radiologists, anesthesiologists, pathologists, emergency physicians, neonatologists and assistant surgeons are fully covered by the insurance, the Bill says.

"We are very proud of this legislation because it enhances patient access to timely and appropriate care, which minimizes potential treatment disruptions, and allows physicians to keep patients in-network for elective care," said Sen. Menéndez.

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It also reforms to prior authorization protocols, ensuring patients are getting value out of the premiums they pay to health insurance companies.

This law creates an interim committee to look at prior authorization processes, and the effect on patients, so they can get the care they need when they need it.

For more information on the Bill, you can visit the Texas Legislature website.

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