June 01, 2021
ASA Makes Recommendations to Biden Admin.: Implement 'No Surprises Act' Equitably Without Improper Advantage to Health Insurers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) requested the Biden administration include a series of recommendations in its regulations to implement the “No Surprises Act,” the new federal surprise medical bill law, that will be implemented on January 1, 2022. ASA’s recommendations aim to ensure that the law is implemented fairly and equitably without improper benefit to health insurance companies.
The “No Surprises Act” protects patients from unanticipated bills from out-of-network physicians and other health care providers. The law also creates an independent dispute resolution (IDR) process so physicians can address unfair payments from health insurers.
“The No Surprises Act represents an important step forward to protect patients,” said ASA President Beverly K. Philip, M.D., FACA, FASA. “We want to make sure physician anesthesiologists are protected from the aggressive negotiating tactics of health insurance companies, and that payment disputes with them can be fairly resolved. As our members know all too well, some health insurers’ tactics result in our members being forced out-of-networks. It is the health insurance companies that created the concept of narrow networks, not physicians.”
Among its key recommendations, ASA asks the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury to make sure the IDR process is sound and treats physician anesthesiologists fairly by:
- Clearly defining the factors that an IDR entity may consider in resolving a payment dispute and explicitly stating that all factors will be weighed equally
- Ensuring accuracy in the calculation of the insurer’s median in-network amount
- Allowing physician access to the federal IDR process, unless the physician’s state law has its own fair and robust IDR process.
THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ANESTHESIOLOGISTS
Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 54,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.
For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/madeforthismoment. Like ASA on Facebook; follow ASALifeline on Twitter.
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