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Patients First Act

On January 1, 2022, specific provisions of An Act Promoting a Resilient Health Care System That Puts Patients First went into effect. The legislation intended to resolve problems created when a health insurer, under certain circumstances, did not cover the cost of care and the subscriber was forced to pay the bill. Examples of “Surprise Billing” focused on problems with health insurance coverage. On the federal level, “Surprise Billing” legislation is focused solely on health insurers.

The Massachusetts Senate and House passed an amendment to bill S.3007, An Act Relative to Extending Certain State of Emergency Accommodations. This amendment will delay enforcement of the Patients First Act of 2020 until January 1, 2025. Governor Baker signed the legislation on July 16, 2022. If left unchanged, the legislation would have required health care providers and dentists to provide notice for out-of-network services and bills by July 31, 2022. In 2023 new legislation was introduced, An Act Further Clarifying the Delivery of Health Care, proposing to exclude "any provider licensed to practice dentistry" from the law. The MDS will continue to work with legislators on this issue.