Surprise Billing Legislation Moves at Federal Level
Posted on February 14, 2020
The U.S. House Ways and Means Committee approved a bill Feb. 12 to address the issue of surprise medical bills, one of several proposals that must be reconciled before a vote in the full House.
Prior to the Feb. 12 action, the MHA sent a letter to Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Flint Twp.), who is currently the only Michigan delegation member of the House Ways and Means Committee, expressing its support for the package. The legislation would protect patients while preserving the role of providers and insurers in negotiating payment rates and is supported by the American Hospital Association (AHA).
Also referred to as balance billing, surprise medical billing occurs when patients are unexpectedly held responsible for the cost of care provided by out-of-network healthcare professionals, either as part of their treatment at an in-network facility or as the result of healthcare plans denying coverage of emergency services they deem unnecessary.
The MHA is committed to protecting patients from surprise medical bills while ensuring adequate access to healthcare services. It and the AHA have expressed support for surprise billing legislation that protects patients without setting government-mandated rates for healthcare.
The MHA is engaging with federal lawmakers on these proposals and working to educate the Michigan delegation about this issue. On the state level, surprise billing bills have been introduced in the House and Senate, but have not been slated for votes of the full chambers this legislative session.
Members with questions should contact Laura Appel about federal legislation and Adam Carlson about state legislation.
Posted in: Member News