Drew Calver's heart involuntarily pinned him to the bedroom floor just minutes after he took out the trash. Calver, a 44-year-old high school history teacher, swim coach, and triathlete living with his family in Austin, Texas, was having a heart attack. His neighbor rushed him to St. David's Medical Center. Emergency medicine physicians admitted him to the hospital's cardiac unit, where physicians implanted four stents in one of his coronary arteries. The hospital charged Calver $164,941 for the operation and four-day hospital stay, of which Aetna, his insurer, paid just $55,840, since St. David's was out of Aetna's network.
The committee's recommendations were based on an assumption that the providers in question are out of network due to disagreements with insurers about payment levels, and they attempt to address providers' concerns about network adequacy requirements. The changes might make the bill more palatable to lawmakers, said Rep. John Hunt, a Republican from Rindge and chairman of the commerce committee. But some of providers affected by the proposal oppose it, he said, and its fate is uncertain.
Despite new Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai's stated dedication to protecting net neutrality rules, the commission under his leadership voted Thursday to exempt "small" carriers from transparency rules that require greater disclosures to customers. Under the new order issued by the FCC, internet service providers with fewer than 250,000 subscribers will be exempt from transparency rules that require home and wireless carriers to detail fees included on a customer's bill. The rules require companies to provide details on the full monthly service charge, including any disclosures for promotional prices and limited-time offers; one-time and recurring fees, surcharges, any other fees that may apply; and any data caps, along with any consequences for exceeding those caps. When the rules were originally passed in February 2015, it offered a temporary exemption to service providers with 100,000 or fewer subscribers. That exemption was set to expire in December 2016.