The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health today passed the No Surprises Act (H.R. 3630), bipartisan legislation that would prohibit balance billing for out-of-network emergency services and certain out-of-network ancillary and post-stabilization services, and set a benchmark or reference rate for out-of-network payments to providers. No amendments were offered and the bill passed on a voice vote. Several members raised concerns with the reimbursement structure outlined in the bill. Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., and Ranking Member Greg Walden, R-Ore., both expressed a willingness to continue negotiations about a different approach, although they remained committed to the bill.
The subcommittee also approved bills that, as amended, would:
- Eliminate Medicaid disproportionate share hospital cuts for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 and reduce the cuts from $8 billion to $4 billion in FY 2022 (an amendment to H.R. 2328).
- Implement new transparency and reporting requirements for drug manufacturers (H.R. 2296).
- Reauthorize for five years grant programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration to develop the nursing workforce (H.R. 728).
- Provide increased Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (H.R. 3631)
The full committee will likely mark up the bills next week.