AHA, AMA to file amicus brief in Texas challenge to IDR provision of August surprise billing rule

September 22, 2022

The American Hospital Association and American Medical Association will file an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit filed today by the Texas Medical Association challenging the federal government’s August final rule governing the No Surprises Act’s independent dispute resolution process, the groups announced today. The Texas Medical Association filed its challenge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, arguing that the August final regulation unlawfully skews arbitration results in commercial insurers’ favor, in ways that violate the compromise Congress reached in the No Surprises Act. In so doing, the Texas plaintiffs state the final rule will harm health care providers and the patients they serve.  

In a joint statement, the AHA and AMA said, “Hospitals and doctors strongly believe that no patient should fear receiving a surprise medical bill and that patients should be kept out of the middle of any billing disputes between providers and commercial health insurance companies. The AHA and AMA fully support the lawsuit just filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, which challenges the government’s August 2022 final rule regarding the No Surprises Act’s independent dispute resolution process. We intend to make our voice heard in this case by filing an amicus brief that explains how the final rule departs from Congressional intent just as the September 2021 interim final rule did. The Texas court previously held that the interim final rule impermissibly rewrote clear statutory terms by placing a thumb on the scale in favor of commercial insurers. The final rule suffers from the same problems. As was the case with the previous suit, the AHA and AMA want to see the law’s core patient protections move forward and seek only to bring the regulations in line with the law. We look forward to supporting the Texas Medical Association’s efforts to restore the balanced, patient-friendly approach that Congress passed and the AHA and AMA supported.”