Letter to Congress from AHA and FAH on Surprise Billing

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 21, 2018) – Below is a joint letter sent to Congress today from American Hospital Association President and CEO Rick Pollack and the Federation of American Hospitals President and CEO Chip Kahn on the issue of surprise billing:


Dear Congressional and Committee Leadership:


On behalf of our member hospitals, health systems and other health care organizations, the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Federation of American Hospitals (FAH) appreciate your leadership to find solutions that shield patients from the financial burdens of unexpected gaps in coverage that can result in surprise bills. Our members are committed to finding a legislative solution that first and foremost protects patients.


We strongly believe that any public policy solution to resolve surprise bills must protect patients by prohibiting balance billing and by limiting patients’ cost-sharing to an in-network amount.


The AHA and the FAH are working together and with our respective memberships to develop specific solutions to these challenges. We are evaluating issues including, but not limited to: 

  • How we protect the broadest range of patients, including those in self-insured plans;
  • How cost-sharing should be determined for out-of-network care so that patients have certainty about their financial obligations;
  • The role of network adequacy requirements and enforcement in ensuring patients have sufficient access to in-network care; and
  • Once the patient is protected, whether policy interventions are needed to determine fair provider payment. 

We appreciate that this is a high priority issue for Congress, as it is for us, and we intend to provide more specific feedback to policymakers early in the new Congress.


We look forward to opportunities to discuss these solutions and work together to achieve them.


Thank you for your attention to this important issue. Please contact us if you have questions.


Richard J. Pollack                                           Charles N. Kahn III

President & CEO                                            President & CEO

American Hospital Association                       Federation of American Hospitals



About the AHA

The AHA is a not-for-profit association of health care provider organizations and individuals that are committed to the improvement of health in their communities. The AHA is the national advocate for its members, which include nearly 5,000 hospitals, health care systems, networks and other providers of care. Founded in 1898, the AHA provides education for health care leaders and is a source of information on health care issues and trends. For more information, visit the website at www.aha.org.


About the FAH

The Federation of American Hospitals (FAH), founded in 1966, is the national representative of more than 1,000 investor-owned or managed community hospitals and health systems throughout the United States. Our members include hospitals in urban and rural America, as well as inpatient rehabilitation, psychiatric, long-term acute care, and cancer hospitals. Investor-owned hospitals serve their communities proudly while providing high-quality health care to their patients. For more information, visit – FAH.org.


Colin Milligan, American Hospital Association (AHA), (202) 638-5491
Sean Brown , Federation of American Hospitals (FAH), (202) 624-1527