In recognition of his work during the 2017 Regular Texas Legislative Session, we recently presented State Rep. John Frullo (R-Lubbock) with a Texas Legislative Achievement Award.

Rep. Frullo authored and fought for successful passage of legislation – SB 507 – that increases Texans’ access to mediation after being hit with a surprise medical bill. Specifically, SB 507 makes mediation available regardless of physician or facility type. It also gives current and retired teachers this right. The legislation was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott and took effect on Sept. 1.

Most Texans save money if they get care from “in network” doctors and clinics that have agreements with insurance companies. Increasingly, patients are finding themselves in a bind: Even if a hospital is “in network,” the doctors, labs, and imaging services inside it might not be. Patients have no protections from costly surprise medical bills at neighborhood emergency centers, where few or none of the care providers are “in network.” The resulting unexpected bills are called “surprise medical bills.”

Rep. Frullo was presented the Legislative Achievement Award at the Jan. 18 meeting of the Lubbock Area Republican Women. AARP volunteer Isabel Gutierrez and AARP staffer Blake Hutson were among the presenters.