Scott, Venkat: Bill to require insurers to provide multiple payment options to reimburse health care providers passes General Assembly

Would reduce unnecessary cost burdens on providers and patients

HARRISBURG, July 8 — State Reps. Greg Scott and Arvind Venkat said a crucial piece of legislation that aims to protect health care practitioners and their patients from unfair reimbursement practices imposed by some insurers is headed to the governor’s desk.

House Bill 1664 would address how certain insurers require claims payments to be made through credit or debit card equivalents, which involves the insurer providing a series of numbers that the health care provider must enter on a website or credit card terminal. This process forces health care practices to absorb transaction fees, sometimes as high as 5%, or pass these additional costs on to patients. Insurers sometimes even receive a percentage of the transaction fee.

Many health care offices, particularly those run by small business owners, are not fully equipped to handle end-to-end electronic claims processing, especially for bulk claim payments. As a result, these practices may be forced to upgrade their payment systems simply to be paid for the services they provide to patients covered under an insurer’s plan. This requirement unfairly restricts their business practices and increases operational costs.

"In passing House Bill 1664, we're taking a significant step to ensure fairness in health care reimbursement practices,” said Scott, D-Montgomery. “This legislation would be a victory for dentists and their patients, ensuring that dental care remains accessible and affordable across the commonwealth. I remain committed to advocating for policies that protect small businesses and improve health care access for all Pennsylvanians.”

As amended by the Senate and concurred by the House of Representatives, H.B. 1664 now includes provisions from H.B. 1867, introduced by Venkat, D-Allegheny, that would extend these protections against the sole use of virtual credit cards to all health care providers and health insurers.

Venkat said: “I am very proud to have collaborated with my friend and colleague, Rep. Scott, to push forward this legislation that would reduce unnecessary costs and burdens on health care providers and patients. With the enactment of House Bill 1664, health care providers will not be forced to only use virtual credit cards to receive payment from insurers and will have transparency on the variety of options available to receive payment. This would be a win-win for health care providers and patients in Pennsylvania.”