MSSNY Urges Congress to go Back to Drawing Board on Surprise Bill Legislation

An Update from the American Medical Association (AMA): “On December 11, the House Ways and Means Committee issued an outline (attached) of that panel’s bipartisan proposal for addressing surprise medical bills.  Some details are vague and it could be after the holidays before we see legislative language.  Nonetheless, direct conversations and written material signal that the committee’s approach offers improvements over the recently issued agreement reached between the House Energy & Commerce Committee and the Senate Health, Labor, Education, and Pension (HELP) Committee.

  • Like other proposals, the Ways & Means plan would limit patients’ out-of-pocket costs to the amounts they would have owed if they had the opportunity to choose in-network physicians and facilities to provide their care.
  • An independent dispute resolution (IDR) system is also included.  However, unlike other proposals, Ways & Means does not restrict IDR to claims above a certain threshold amount, nor does it establish a payment benchmark based on in-network payment amounts.
  • Price and network transparency provisions and protections for patients whose provider networks change during the plan year are also included.  Uninsured or cash-paying patients would also have access to IDR if they are given misleading cost information prior to obtaining services.

After the outline was released, Committee chair Richard Neal (D-MA) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) both affirmed their commitment to advancing a balanced approach to address surprise billing early next year, noting that the issue is too complex and important to rush through Congress prior to the holiday recess.”

CLICK HERE to read a statement issued by The Medical Society of the State of New York (MSSNY) President Dr. Art Fougner about this proposal. Several other state medical associations, the AMA and national specialty societies also publicly raised concerns.  MSSNY staff has been in continuous communications with all these groups.

CLICK HERE to send a letter to and tweet at your local US Representative and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand.

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