Responding today to a House Energy and Commerce Committee request for information on its No Surprises Act draft legislation to protect patients from surprise medical bills, the AHA said it shares the committee’s objective of protecting patients from balance billing in certain circumstances by out-of-network providers and limiting patient cost-sharing to the in-network amount, but expressed concern with the draft legislation’s approach to determining reimbursement for out-of-network providers. “The AHA believes that once the patient is protected from surprise bills, providers and insurers should then be permitted to negotiate payment rates for services provided,” the association wrote. “We strongly oppose approaches that would impose arbitrary rates on providers. It is the insurers’ responsibility to maintain comprehensive provider networks, and a default payment rate would remove incentives for plans to contract with providers.” 
 

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