Seventeen health insurance, employer and consumer organizations today proposed recommendations for federal action to protect patients from surprise medical bills.
 
Commenting on the proposal, AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack and Federation of American Hospitals President and CEO Chip Kahn said, “Our patients come first and the hospital community has proposed a plan to protect them from surprise bills. Consumers, health insurers, employers, and hospitals all agree and should seek a common solution. That solution is simple: patients should not be balance billed, and they should have certainty regarding their cost-sharing obligations based on an in-network amount. Beyond protecting patients and ensuring adequate health plan provider networks, it is essential that insurers and providers of care retain the ability to negotiate appropriate payment rates. Not only is it a dangerous precedent for the government to start setting rates in the private sector, but it could also create unintended consequences for patients by disrupting incentives for health plans to create comprehensive networks. The hospital community is actively engaged in finding solutions to this issue for our patients. We want to ensure that patients are protected from surprise gaps in coverage that result in surprise bills, and we look forward to working with policymakers to achieve this goal.”
 
The AHA last month unveiled a set of principles to help inform the ongoing federal policy debate regarding surprise billing. In addition, the AHA – along with the Federation of American Hospitals, America’s Essential Hospitals, the Association of American Medical Colleges, Catholic Health Association of the United States and Children’s Hospital Association – shared with key legislators a letter outlining its position using these principles as a guide.

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