Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Fax (512) 463-0923

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2003
Contact: Dave Nelson
(512) 463-0112

Senator Nelson Urges Legislative Intent Be Respected on Prompt Pay

AUSTIN State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, is calling on the Texas Department of Insurance to adhere to the intent of the Texas Legislature as it promulgates rules to implement SB 418, the so-called prompt pay bill authored by Senator Nelson.

The Legislature spoke loudly and clearly on this issue. Not only did we approve a strong piece of legislation, both chambers voted down amendment after amendment designed to weaken this bill by overwhelming margins, said Senator Nelson, Chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee. The Legislatures role is to set policy. The agencys job is to implement those policies. We need strong rules to match the strong bill we approved.

Senator Nelson filed SB 418 to resolve the fierce billing disputes between HMOs and health care providers. The bill provides consistency in the billing and payment process and -- as with any billing process -- penalties for late payments.

Every household and every other business has to pay their bills on time, and after four years of investigating this issue I have yet to hear a convincing argument as to why we should give insurance companies special treatment, Senator Nelson said. The Legislature has approved a bill that is fair to all parties, and I am confident that the Texas Department of Insurance will respect the intent of the Legislature.

Senator Jane Nelson represents District 12, which includes parts of Denton and Tarrant counties and part of the city of Fort Worth.

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