The Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing hosted a policymaker briefing to discuss the patient protections enacted in the No Surprises Act and the six lawsuits filed to weaken the regulations and legislation. Moderated by Katie Keith, panelists Loren Adler, Katie Berge, Julie Miller, and Katy Johnson, discussed the urgent need for the No Surprises Act, how the law protects patients from out-of-network surprise bills, and the importance of implementing the law as it was written to protect patients, decrease health care costs, and prevent inflation for American families.
The conversation reinforced the necessity of implementing the No Surprises Act in full to protect patients from the financial interests of certain providers and end the harmful practice of surprise out-of-network bills.
Highlights from the briefing include:
- “I think the goals of the No Surprises Act are threefold – that it is protecting patients, making sure the law reduces premiums and cost sharing, and sort of limiting this reliance on arbitration. And that’s where CBO was estimating the bill reduces premiums by up to 1%.” – Loren Adler, Associate Director, USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy
- “The underlying goal of the No Surprises Act was to protect patients from unexpected high costs. To that end, our briefs discuss why it’s so important that the departments get the QPA and the IDR processes right.” – Katie Berge, Director of Federal Affairs, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
- “Employees and their families struggling to deal with surprise medical bills are usually enduring some kind of unforeseen health crisis and employers over the years have stepped in and helped employees pay these bills. We’ve also seen impacts on the total cost of health coverage because of the ability of providers to extract in-network rates that were inflated.” – Katy Johnson, Senior Counsel, Health Policy, American Benefits Council
- “We agree with the approach of the IDR that focuses on objective, predictable, and regulated measures such as the QPA, which, as others have said, is a fair negotiated market rate. And that’s important because it lowers administrative costs in a couple of different ways. One is that it reduces the number of IDR requests in proceedings, and it lowers the cost of those proceedings themselves, thus, decreasing administrative costs.” – Julie Miller, General Counsel, AHIP
- “One practical issue is transparency. If it turns out that ultimately the IDR process is less predictable because there’s more discretion for the arbitrator in terms of how to decide between the two proposed payment amounts, it’s going to be even more important for all of us to understand and watch the information that the agencies put out as the IDR process gets underway.” – Katy Johnson, Senior Counsel, Health Policy, American Benefits Council
- “The No Surprises Act is revolutionary in terms of the patient experience of our health care system, and it means so much. It’s been excellent to have such unified support for the for the law and their underpinning regulations about how this will impact people, like our patients, people who are sick or people who just want to be able to use their health care. We are very carefully watching all of this as it moves forward and look forward to making sure that the perspective of real people, patients who end up with these pieces of paperwork that are financially devastating, are protected.” – Katie Berge, Director of Federal Affairs, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
To watch the entire briefing, click here.