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, 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.
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.
The Coalition’s latest advertising campaign calls on Congress to protect patients and stop surprise billing with fair, common-sense reforms that will lower costs for consumers, employers and taxpayers.
Out-of-network providers continue to exploit patients at their most vulnerable – even in cases where those patients made the effort to seek in-network care. A recent report from Kaiser Family Foundation found that the vast majority (90 percent) of inpatient stays for...read more
Envision Healthcare Corp., the parent company of EmCare which is notorious for exorbitant surprise medical bills, is now facing a class-action lawsuit from several Texas patients who were on the receiving end of unfair and excessive out-of-network charges. The...read more
When Patients Are At Their Most Vulnerable, Private Equity Firms See “Opportunity to Reap Above-Market Returns”
In an op-ed for The Hill, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research Eileen Appelbaum highlights the explosion of private equity-backed provider firms that see profit opportunities when patients are at their most vulnerable. "Private equity has shaped...read more
Tell Washington it’s time to protect patients from surprise and unfair medical bills.