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Episode #16 - Surprise Emergency Room Bills | Al Lewis

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Our podcast discussion today between Michael Andrade and Al Lewis, CEO of Quizzify. Some of you may have listened to the podcast interview of Quizzify and remember that his company seeks to improve health literacy through an interactive and fun quiz that’s delivered directly to employees through a monthly quiz. Al however is passionate about bringing validity and transparency to the healthcare system. In our interview today we discuss an issue that affects a staggering amount of individuals, Surprise Medical Billing and offers a solutions for what you can do as an employer and individual to protect yourself from surprise Emergency Room Billings. Al is offering a simple solution that you can easily provide to your employees. This can lent to solving a big problem for folks that inadvertently get surprise bills from unscheduled emergency room visits.

In our discussion we review the size of the problem, how it affects individuals, plus how EMTALA, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) sets a precedent for your own protection and how taking reasonable precautions can protect you from egregious surprise bills.

Link to Surprise Balance Billing agreement:

The Problem:

Hospital emergency rooms (ERs) are required to treat anyone who comes in the door.

Before they do, ERs will typically make your employees sign a whole contract, electronically, which your employees will likely treat as though it were a “terms and conditions” document that doesn’t even have to be read…when in fact they are actually agreeing to be responsible for total charges.

Quizzify’s Solution:

Employees can insist on signing a printed copy of the consent, and insert the word “reasonable” where it says “I understand I will be responsible for charges not covered by insurance” and add “…up to 2 times the Medicare rate.” Or simply cross out that line altogether and sign the rest. They still have to treat you.

However, in the heat of the moment, employees have to first of all remember to do that. And if they do remember to ask for the printout and cross out the offending language, they also need to push back when the ER intake person says: “You can’t do that,” or something similar. All while your employee or a family member might be bleeding. Not a good time to get into a debate.

If you have any questions about this feel free to contact me: Michael Andrade (832) 236-8966


If you would like a downloadable document that you can use to print of labels and attach to your id cards please feel free to use this one. Note you may have to reformat based off your ID card. Also, it’s best to use clear labels.

Surprise Billing Label