This month, Katie Keith of the Georgetown University Center on Health Insurance Reforms and Patricia Kelmar of U.S. PIRG participated in a virtual satellite and radio media tour across the United States, providing insights on why the No Surprises Act is essential legislation for lowering out-of-network health care costs and putting patient needs first.
With interviews ranging from California to Washington D.C., the pair completed 24 interviews reaching a total audience of 46 million people. Both experts explained how the No Surprises Act was crafted with broad bipartisan support in Congress and how the legislation protects patients and families from the financial burden of surprise out-of-network medical bills.
“This new law, the No Surprises Act, is designed to protect patients in those situations where you don’t choose the provider you see,” said Katie Keith in an interview on Fox 5 Morning Washington D.C. Keith explained that, especially during an emergency, patients shouldn’t have to worry if seeing a doctor will result in a financially devastating surprise medical bill.
“[The No Surprises Act] protects patients and sets up a fair billing mechanism so the out of network billing providers get the network rate for that area, so it’s a market rate,” said Patricia Kelmar in an interview with Philadelphia-based KDOW 1220. “Unfortunately, the battle has been seen as a fight between providers and insurance companies. But the reality is when our insurance companies are paying outsized charges and outsized bills, those costs are passed on to us later in premiums or higher copays.” The No Surprises Act would rein-in high provider charges and establish protections to ensure families receive the care they need at a more reasonable price.
The No Surprises Act has drawn increased attention in the face of several lawsuits attempting to weaken or undermine key patient protections in the regulations and law. The interviews with Keith and Kelmar reinforced why it is essential that the Biden Administration implement the law in-full and as written in order to ensure patients and families are protected from the financial uncertainty created by surprise medical bills.