Under the expected plan, if a provider and insurer cannot agree on the remaining payment for certain medical bills, they will enter a negotiation period. Meanwhile, the House Education and Labor Committee is expected to present its own plan this month. While the issue is bipartisan, lawmakers’ different strategies and powerful interests have slowed down the legislative process.
Modern Healthcare: New Surprise Billing Proposal Expected To Leave Out Benchmark Payments
New surprise billing legislation from the House Ways & Means Committee is expected to leave out a benchmark payment mechanism that has proved a nonstarter for hospitals and specialty physician groups, according to sources familiar with the draft legislation. Ways & Means Chair Richard Neal (D-Mass.) said Wednesday that he expects his committee’s bill to be released by Friday, ahead of a Feb. 12 target markup date. (Cohrs, 2/6)
Politico Pro: House Ed And Labor Joins Fight Over ‘Surprise’ Billing
The House Education and Labor Committee is joining the legislative fray over “surprise” medical bills with a new plan that’s due to be marked up Feb. 11, Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) told POLITICO. The panel, which has jurisdiction over employer-based insurance, is the fourth congressional committee to weigh how to hold patients harmless from sometimes staggering unexpected bills for out-of-network care. House Ways and Means is expected to unveil legislation this week, to be marked up on Feb. 12. (Luthi, 2/6)
In other news —
Miami Herald: Judge Tosses HCA Hospital Emergency Room Fee Lawsuit
Claims in a 2019 lawsuit that HCA Florida hospitals were billing patients surprise facility fees for emergency room visits were overblown and inaccurate, according to a South Florida federal judge. The hospitals did in fact charge facility fees, U.S. Judge Roy K. Altman said in an order dismissing the lawsuit on Monday, but they were disclosed on the internet on lists known as chargemasters, which list the costs of various goods and services. (Conarck, 2/6)
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