The AHA today expressed support for the Consumer Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation released last week by leaders of the House Committee on Ways and Means. “The AHA supports the House Ways and Means Committee proposal because it protects patients while preserving the appropriate role of providers and insurers in negotiating payment rates,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack in a statement. “America’s hospitals and health systems will continue to work closely with Congress on this important issue to stand up for patients, families and the providers who care for them.”
In detailed comments submitted today, AHA commended the Ways and Means Committee leaders for the legislation, calling it “the most effective approach to surprise medical billing introduced to date.” The committee is expected to mark up the bill on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the AHA today also commented on the Ban Surprise Billing Act, legislation released last Friday by leaders of the House Education and Labor Committee. While the AHA supports efforts to shield patients from the financial burden of unexpected medical expenses, it expressed concerns with the committee’s legislative approach to determining reimbursement for out-of-network providers.
“The AHA believes that once the patient is protected from surprise bills, providers and insurers should then be permitted to negotiate payment rates for services provided,” AHA said. “We strongly oppose approaches that would impose arbitrary rates on providers, which could have significant consequences far beyond the scope of surprise medical bills.” In addition, AHA urged “the Committee to not move legislation that would cause disruption to the patients and communities we serve.”