The New Jersey legislature yesterday passed legislation to increase transparency in out-of-network health care services and create an arbitration system to resolve related billing disputes, sending it to the governor for his signature. “It’s a good day when a diverse group of individuals and organizations can find common ground for the sake of health care consumers,” said New Jersey Hospital Association President and CEO Cathy Bennett. “The out-of-network bill approved today by the Senate and Assembly is eight years in the making, and in the end it addresses our two key priorities: protecting patients from surprise medical bills, and ensuring that hospitals and physicians are on a level playing field with insurance companies when it comes to negotiating fair payments for the care they deliver. We thank Speaker Coughlin, Senate President Sweeney and Senator Vitale for their ongoing dialogue with the hospital community on the detailed nuances and potential for unintended consequences in this issue. We urge Gov. Murphy to sign this bill into law as a major accomplishment in protecting patients.”