Representatives Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, and Tom Suozzi, DN.Y., both of whom sit on the Ways and Means Committee, circulate a letter, which has not been made public, to HHS, Labor and the Trésor who will urge them to revise the rule to say that the arbitrator should consider all the factors outlined in the law, rather than focusing on the network median rate.
These concerns echo complaints from hospitals and physician groups who fear the surprise billing regulations could hurt their business model. Shortly after the rule was published, the Federation of American Hospitals called the rule a “total error” and the American Hospital Association called it a “boon to insurers.”
“The process put in place by the agencies fails to create an impartial and fair dispute resolution system – this will likely lead to consolidation in the health care market, threatening patients’ access to care,” said Carole Allen, President of the Massachusetts Medical Society. in an email.
The American Medical Association went further and asked the Biden administration to delay implementation of the rule.
Senator Maggie Hassan, DN.H., who has partnered with Cassidy on surprise billing legislation and advocated for an approach that does not place median network rates at the center of the arbitration process, is not affected by the September 30 rule. Unlike Cassidy, Hassan says the law aligns with the intent of Congress. Hassan says the most important thing is to make sure Americans are protected from surprise medical bills.