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A photo of a hospital emergency room sign

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STATEHOUSE — Holding insurance companies more accountable and lowering what Hoosiers are on the hook for when it comes to healthcare is the goal of a bill being pushed in this year’s legislative session.

State Sens. Liz Brown (R) and Ed Charbonneau (R) say healthcare in Indiana needs to be more transparent and have better access to services while also reducing some regulations within the system.

“For quite some time now, Indiana’s health care system has seriously needed reform so it can better serve our state,” Brown said. “I have authored Senate Bill 132 to ensure Hoosiers are getting the most out of their health care system and to hold health care insurance providers accountable.”

The bill would shore up some FSSA requirements for healthcare providers when it comes to working within Medicare.

The crux of the bill for Charbonneau is that it will provide more accountability to make sure insurance companies are not leaving Hoosiers who need healthcare in a tough spot.

“So much of what goes on, particularly for some reason in the healthcare area, I have found is not done with much transparency,” he said. ‘We need to continue to look and ensure that Hoosiers have access to affordable healthcare. To do that we need to look at processes … that we don’t normally pay attention to.”

One lawmaker impacted by this bill is State Rep. Denny Zent, a retired dentist, who ran his own practice for a long time before going into politics. He told a story of how in a ploy to get his practice to join an insurance company’s network, they would send payments for healthcare to patients rather than directly to his practice.

He says this resulted in some patients, who were unaware of what the money was, keeping the money without explanation that it was for their dental visit. Zent said the bill would address situations like this so that insurance companies would be required to send payments to healthcare practices.

Zent is also authoring a mirrored bill in the House and if they both pass he plans to reconcile his with the Brown-Charbonneau bill later in the session.