Legislation Will Protect Patients from Surprise Medical Bills and Establish Fair Framework to Resolve Disputes Between Providers and Insurers
Washington, D.C. – Today, key House and Senate Committee leaders announced a bipartisan agreement on legislation to protect patients from surprise medical bills and establish a fair framework to resolve payment disputes between health care providers and health insurance companies.
The deal was agreed to by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR), House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX), House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA) and Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-NC), and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA).
“We have reached a bipartisan, bicameral deal in principle to protect patients from surprise medical bills and promote fairness in payment disputes between insurers and providers, without increasing premiums for patients or interfering with strong, state-level solutions already on the books,” the bipartisan, bicameral Committee leaders said. “Under this agreement, the days of patients receiving devastating surprise out-of-network medical bills will be over. Patients should not be penalized with these outrageous bills simply because they were rushed to an out-of-network hospital or unknowingly treated by an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility. This is a win for patients and their families that will improve America’s health care system.
“We are pleased to share this language for stakeholder feedback and look forward to continuing to work together to finalize and attach this important new patient protection to the end-of-year funding package. We’re hopeful this legislation will be signed into law in the coming days so we can give Americans confidence they will no longer receive financially ruinous surprise out-of-network medical bills.”
The bipartisan, bicameral agreement protects patients and establishes a fair payment dispute resolution process including:
As part of the legislative agreement, the package includes a long-term extension of expiring public health programs, including: Community Health Centers, National Health Service Corps, Teaching Health Centers, and Special Diabetes Programs.
Legislative text is available HERE.
Section-by-section is available HERE.