Despite the popularity of the No Surprises Act and bipartisan support in Congress, at least one provider wants to balance bill his patients. Today, STAT published a story detailing how Daniel Haller, a New York doctor, wants to throw out key protections in the No Surprises Act in order to protect his own paycheck. Five other lawsuits filed by the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American College of Radiology, the American College of Anesthesiologists, the American Medical Association, and other provider groups threaten consumer protections by weakening the guardrails Congress crafted to limit abuse of the arbitration process. If any of these lawsuits are successful, it’s highly likely costs will increase for patients and health care consumers.

Full implementation of the No Surprises Act is essential for ensuring critical guardrails remain in place and the interests of patients are always put first.

From STAT: The doctor who is trying to bring back surprise billing

  • “If Daniel Haller gets his way, surprise medical bills will be back in full force.”
  • “Haller, an acute-care surgeon on Long Island in New York, is suing the federal government over the No Surprises Act, a new law that protects people from receiving unexpected bills from out-of-network doctors. He argues the entire law should be thrown out because it violates his constitutional rights to bill patients directly for any ‘balance of the fair value’ of his services, according to his complaint.”
  • “It’s a stunning position, given how popular the consumer protections are — the law is one of the few health care policies that politicians in both parties brag about, and even doctors groups whose members have taken a hit from the changes don’t outright oppose it.”
  • “However, the lawsuit shows just how much some providers rely on out-of-network charges, and how far they are willing to go to dismantle a measure that shields patients from getting blindsided.”
  • “Most providers don’t bill out of network. A small chunk of hospitals and doctor groups — especially those owned by private equity — have conducted a vast majority of the nation’s balance billing, according to 2020 study published by Yale University researchers.”
  • “American families believe a really skilled, high-quality physician should be able to receive appropriate payment for his or her services. This lawsuit isn’t about that,” Isasi of Families USA said. “When you see … physicians like this challenge the law … every time they try to water down the ability to set a fair price, they’re saying, ‘My greed is more important.’”

To read the full article, click here.