Congress should pass legislation that would protect patients from surprise medical bills; preserve the ability of providers and insurers to negotiate private contracts; and not establish a fixed payment amount for out-of-network services, said Molly Smith, AHA vice president of coverage and state issues, today during a Bipartisan Policy Center event focused on surprise bills.
  
The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions last month passed legislation that would address surprise medical bills. The House Energy and Commerce Committee today passed legislation (H.R. 2328) 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. The AHA submitted a letter before the markup expressing concerns with the out-of-network payments specified in the bill.
 
Other panelists at the event were Loren Adler, associate director of USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy; Sabrina Corlette, research professor at the Center on Health Insurance Reforms, Georgetown University Health Policy Institute; and Benedic Ippolito, research fellow in economic policy studies at the American Economic Institute. 

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