The Texas Comptroller issued an advisory opinion reversing a longstanding policy relating to Texas sales taxation of medical billing services that will impact all Texas medical management and medical billing companies. Originally set to be effective January 1, 2020,  the Comptroller last week delayed the implementation of the new position until April 1, 2020. However, the opportunity exists to work with the Comptroller to amend Texas’ tax law in the 2021 session of the Texas Legislature and prevent the new position from being implemented.

The potential impact of this policy cannot be understated. For both third-party medical billing companies and Texas medical management companies (even those wholly-controlled by the physicians, dentists, and other medical professionals it manages), the scope of “medical billing services” and the extent to which consideration flows for such services needs to be analyzed and a determination made, if required, to begin withholding and charging Texas sales tax on the required component next year. For example, the need to separately account for and state the taxable versus nontaxable component of any agreement that provides for a lump-sum fee is important (the “separately stated” strategy for sales tax compliance). With many management agreements, a fixed amount is paid to cover a broad spectrum of services.
Continue Reading Reversal of Texas Sales Tax Policy on Medical Billing Services to Cause Potential Texas Sales Tax Increases for Healthcare Clients Effective in 2020

Players in the healthcare industry continue to identify ways to use technological innovations to decrease overhead expenditures and increase bottom lines.  AI software to automatize EHR documentation in place of human input, mobile apps and portals to grant patients immediate access to their medical records, and blockchain technology to accelerate claims adjudication are some examples. In particular, commercial health insurers have employed various cost containment measures to minimize non-claim expenses. One measure involves the use of virtual credit cards, or VCCs, in lieu of traditional payment methods to reimburse providers for services rendered to plan enrollees. A VCC is linked to the payer source’s credit card account but generates a new 16-digit single-use number each time the physical card’s 16-digit number is used. Payers send providers the number with instructions to access and process these payments electronically.
Continue Reading Recent State Laws Restrict Payer-to-Provider Reimbursement via Virtual Credit Cards

This is the third and final blog in our Surprise Billing series. Our first two blogs addressed legislation in Texas and California limiting “surprise” or “balance” billing. This article will briefly touch on surprise billing legislation that other states across the nation have implemented, and also look at proposed federal legislation that mirrors those state laws.

In today’s political climate, it is rare to have both sides of the aisle agree on the need to tackle a pressing issue. But leaders from both parties see eye-to-eye when it comes to ending surprise medical billing, a problem that arises in roughly 1 in 5 emergency department visits. However, agreeing that something needs to be fixed is only the first step—agreeing on how to fix it is another, much more difficult, issue. There have been proposals, from both the House and the Senate, with bipartisan support that are based on existing state legislation. Congressional legislation regarding surprise billing is imperative for many Americans, because state legislation does not protect patients enrolled in self-insured employer health plans due to preemption by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
Continue Reading Proposed Federal Legislation Mirrors State’s Attempts to End Surprise Billing