The Provider Relief Fund: How Well Does it Protect Patients from Surprise Medical Bills for COVID-19 Related Services?

The $175 billion Provider Relief Fund prohibits participating providers from balance billing COVID-19 patients, regardless of their source of coverage. While this could help many patients avoid surprise medical bills, there remain several questions about the scope of protection this will provide. In an update to his April 30, 2020 post, Georgetown expert Jack Hoadley takes a look at the fine print of the program as well as new guidance from HHS. Continue reading

When Things Fall Apart: A Roadmap for State Regulators Managing Fallout from Provider-Payer Contract Disputes

High profile contract disputes between insurers and providers appear to be on the rise, raising the risks of disruptions for patients and unexpected out-of-network billing. In a new report for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CHIR experts examine best practices among state regulators and insurers to protect consumers and provide recommended policies and procedures to mitigate risks when a provider leaves a health plan network. Continue reading

Coronavirus Exposes Big Gaps in the U.S. System Of Coverage: What Can States Do to Help?

The cost of medical care associated with the novel coronavirus can be a barrier for many people who should get tested, raising a public health risk. Given our patchwork quilt system of health insurance coverage and the lack of a timely and comprehensive federal response, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette and Kevin Lucia consider actions states can take to encourage people to get the care they need. Continue reading

How States Are Using Independent Dispute Resolution to Resolve Out-of-Network Payments in Surprise Billing

As Congress and a number of states craft legislation to protect consumers from surprise out-of-network billing, a critical issue is resolving how insurers will pay out-of-network providers for their services. In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR’s Jack Hoadley and Maanasa Kona assess the experience of states that use an independent dispute resolution process to determine these payments. Continue reading

Addressing Surprise Billing by Setting Payment Standards for Out-of-Network Providers

The thorniest issue in pending legislation to protect consumers from surprise medical billing is how to resolve disputes between payers and providers over appropriate payment. In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, CHIR experts Maanasa Kona, Jack Hoadley, and Katie Keith examine the seven states that have adopted a payment standard for out-of-network bills. Continue reading

Update on Federal Surprise Billing Legislation: New Bills Contain Key Differences

Congressional leaders are racing to meet a self-imposed May deadline for passing legislation to protect consumers from surprise medical billing. In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, Jack Hoadley, Beth Fuchs, and Kevin Lucia identify key similarities and differences among competing proposals, and provide a comprehensive side-by-side guide to the key committee bills. Continue reading

A Mixed Bag for States: The Proposed 2021 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters

The Trump administration’s proposed rule governing the Affordable Care Act insurance markets for 2021 has been published, and comments are due from the public by March 2, 2020. In her latest article for the State Health & Value Strategies program, CHIR’s Sabrina Corlette provides a detailed overview of changes proposed in the rule, with a focus on the implications for state departments of insurance and the health insurance marketplaces. Continue reading