Medical billing can often be a complex and confusing process for patients, leading to financial stress and uncertainty. However, recent developments in Texas regarding health care legislation and billing practices are set to bring about positive changes. The introduction of the "Health Care Billing" Act (SB 490) by Senator Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) is poised to revolutionize medical billing, placing patients and providers at the forefront improving transparency and fairness. Let's explore how the "Health Care Billing" act and Qualified Payment Amounts (QPA) can work together to enhance medical billing transparency for everyone.

Transparency and Clarity:

One of the fundamental objectives of the "Health Care Billing" Act is to ensure transparency in medical billing. Under this act, health care providers are required to submit itemized bills that include a plain language description of each service, related billing codes, and the alleged cost. This empowers patients to gain a clearer understanding of the charges they are facing. When coupled with the QPA, which provides a standardized and qualified amount for each service, patients can easily compare the billed amount to the fair and reasonable charge. This transparency fosters trust, accountability, and enables patients to make informed decisions and question any discrepancies they may come across.

Empowering Patients and Providers:

The QPA plays a pivotal role in enhancing both patients' and providers' cost awareness. Patients often struggle to comprehend the actual costs associated with their health care services, which can lead to surprise bills and financial strain. On the other hand, providers face challenges in understanding why they receive lower charge reimbursements. The QPA bridges this gap by allowing providers to easily identify underpaid charges on claims and address reimbursement issues before billing patients. Patients, in turn, receive itemized billing that allows them to easily identify the reasonable amount owed for specific services. This knowledge empowers both providers and patients to assess the accuracy of the billed amount, seek appropriate reimbursement, and explore cost-effective alternatives when available. It also facilitates meaningful discussions between patients and providers regarding pricing options, enabling patients to take control of their health care expenses and make informed financial decisions.

Efficient Billing Dispute Resolution:

In cases where patients suspect overcharging or discrepancies between the billed amount and the QPA, the "Health Care Billing" Act and QPA work hand in hand to facilitate efficient billing dispute resolution. Transparency tools such as Open Care Data provide providers with the ability to show patients median rate information specific to their Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) for the services received. Patients can then use the QPA as a benchmark for fair charges, allowing them to identify and challenge any inconsistencies. This streamlined dispute resolution mechanism reduces unnecessary delays and ensures fair outcomes for patients. Armed with this knowledge, patients can advocate for themselves, question unjustified charges and unexplainable underpayments from their payer, and seek fair resolutions. The QPA serves as a safeguard against financial exploitation, promoting fairness and equitable billing practices.


The "Health Care Billing" Act and Qualified Payment Amounts (QPA) provide a promising framework for enhancing medical billing for patients and providers alike. By promoting transparency, empowering patients with cost awareness, and facilitating efficient billing dispute resolution, these measures foster trust, accountability, and fairness in the medical billing process. With patients and providers working together, the vision of transparent and patient-centric medical billing becomes a reality, resulting in better healthcare experiences and improved financial well-being for all involved.


The information provided in this blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal or policy advice. Any potential changes to the No Surprises Act should be reviewed and analyzed in consultation with legal and healthcare professionals.
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