March 12, 2020
ASA Joins In Letter Encouraging Fair Solution as Congress Works on Surprise Medical Bills
Last week, the American Society of Anesthesiologists joined with 18 other medical specialty groups in a formal letter encouraging key Congressional leaders
to ensure a solution to surprise medical bills incudes a process to quickly, efficiently and fairly resolve physician and health plan billing disputes.
In the letter, which was sent to each of the Committee leaders that passed legislation addressing surprise medical bills – Committee on Energy and Commerce, Committee on Ways and Means, and Committee on Education and Labor – the organizations encouraged continued improvements to any legislation to include the more accessible baseball-style dispute resolution process, and ensuring references to median in-network rates are avoided. The letter also encouraged “more balanced dispute resolution guidelines that reflect commercially reasonable rates” and said it was critical that the legislation should not reduce patient access to in-network physician or erode the safety net of physicians that patients need in emergencies.
Even while Congress works on addressing the coronavirus, key Congressional leaders and staff continue deliberations seeking to reach consensus on a House surprise medical bill agreement. ASA has continued to urge Congress to pass legislation to protect patients by surprise medical bills while finding a fair and balanced solution for payment disputes between physicians and insurance companies.