RICHARDSON, Texas – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) honored state Sen. Kelly Hancock last night with the second annual Justin F. Kimball Patient Protection Award.
The award recognizes people with the same spirit and dedication to their community’s health as Kimball, who developed the idea of “group hospitalization” that eventually became the national system of Blue Cross and Blue Shield insurance plans recognizable today.
“It is important to recognize and commend those individuals whose hard work and commitment have resulted in providing improved access to high-quality, affordable health care for Texas patients,” said Dr. Dan McCoy, president, BCBSTX. “We are thrilled to announce State Senator Kelly Hancock as the second annual winner of the distinguished Kimball award.”
Sen. Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, led a bipartisan effort that resulted in the passing of Senate Bill 1264 into law earlier this year. The landmark legislation takes the patient “out-of-the-middle” in surprise billing disputes. A surprise bill occurs when a provider demands payment in cases where patients have no opportunity to select who treats them, such as in emergencies and other circumstances. The legislation effectively ends the blight on Texas’ reputation for having one of the nation’s highest rates of surprise billing.
“Sen. Hancock’s courageous legislation embodies Justin Kimball's spirit of innovation and commitment,” McCoy continued. “This legislation will help protect thousands of Texans from the pain of financial hardship brought on by surprise bills.”
Also honored during the awards presentation was Dr. Ray Callas, an anesthesiologist in Beaumont who was recognized with the Community Impact Award for his work during Hurricane Harvey and Tropical Storm Imelda. BCBSTX presented the National Kidney Foundation with a $190,000 grant to continue its Kidney Early Education Program, KEEP Healthy, in 2020.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) — the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas — is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 80,000 physicians and health care practitioners, and 500 hospitals to serve 5 million members in all 254 counties. BCBSTX is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico), the country's largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth-largest health insurer overall. Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.