Stop Surprise Medical Bills
Millions of Americans receive a surprise medical bill every year, bankrupting families and raising health care costs for everyone, including employers and taxpayers.
Members of the Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing, which represent accountable care providers, leading employer groups, unions and health insurance providers and the tens of millions of people they employ and serve each day, support meaningful solutions to end surprise medical billing that would:
- Protect patients and families from surprise medical bills sent by out-of-network providers.
- Maintain fair and equitable payments for providers with a benchmark standard based on local, competitive market-based rates.
- Help reduce consumers’ health insurance premiums and taxpayers’ costs by avoiding an arbitration process that adds unnecessary cost, delay and bureaucracy to the health system and is particularly harmful for smaller companies.
Millions of patients face surprise medical bills they did not expect at prices they cannot afford. While the majority of doctors and providers do their best to deliver fair, affordable care for patients and their families, there is a small but significant number of doctors and hospitals responsible for the vast majority of surprise billing.
When clinical specialists choose not to participate in health insurance providers’ networks – or if they do not meet the standards for inclusion – they often demand a blank check from patients for their services. The consequences are significant: financial stress, fighting a complicated, confusing bureaucracy, harassed by collection agencies, and often legal action for non-payment. And when a health insurance provider steps in on a patient’s behalf to cover the surprise medical bill, it raises premiums for everyone else.
Role of Private Equity
The growing presence of private equity-backed providers is becoming an all too common influence in the health system – and one of the leading drivers behind egregious surprise medical bills that bankrupt families across the country. Out-of-network providers backed by equity firms continue to exploit a market loophole that allow them to charge exorbitant rates at patients’ expense. View the Coalition’s latest advertising on the harmful tactics from private equity firms below and why this practice needs to stop for good at https://stopsurprisebillingnow.com/private-equity/
Any real solution to surprise medical bills must protect patients when they need emergency care and establish a fair, market-based benchmark based on local negotiated rates to stop abuse of the system by some providers. This benchmark would allow consumers to benefit from negotiated in-network rates and ensure fair and equitable treatment for health care providers, consumers, employers and taxpayers.
How it started: Brookings – High air ambulance charges concentrated in private equity-owned carriers (October 13, 2020) “…rapid growth in air ambulance prices is borne by consumers both through higher insurance premiums and more directly through cost-sharing and...
When out-of-network providers and private equity firms take advantage of patients, we all pay the price. Now, new research from the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy shows clearly how this exploitative practice ends up costing the country billions...
By Sarah Kliff As Congress moves to address one of the most devastating public health crises facing the country, patients, consumers and families continue to be slammed with surprise medical bills related to COVID-19 care and treatment. The latest New York Times piece...
Tell Washington it’s time to protect patients from surprise and unfair medical bills.