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

By Jack Hoadley, Beth Fuchs, and Kevin Lucia

In their latest post for the Commonwealth Fund’s To the Point blog, Jack Hoadley, Beth Fuchs, and Kevin Lucia examine the current status of congressional efforts to protect consumers from surprise medical billing. Four committees have crafted competing proposals. While all would help ensure that consumers do not face surprise bills beyond what they would pay in cost-sharing for in-network providers, the proposals differ in how they establish what insurers will pay out-of-network providers. The bill reported by the House Ways & Means Committee relies on voluntary negotiation backed by independent dispute resolution (IDR), and aligns more closely with the approach favored by hospitals and physician advocates. The Senate Health Education, Labor & Pensions, House Energy & Commerce, and Education & Labor Committee bills all create a payment standard with a back up IDR process.

The post identifies other key similarities and differences among the bills, and includes a comprehensive side-by-side comparison. You can read the full post here.

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