fah hospital policy blog

Perspectives on health policy affecting America’s hospitals and the patients we serve.

FAH Reacts to Senate HELP Hearing on Health Costs

June 18, 2019 | Chip Kahn

Category: Hearings

No hospital patient should receive a surprise bill - the message at today’s Senate HELP Committee hearing was clear.

The best way to protect patients is with a requirement that only holds them responsible for their in-network cost sharing amount for unavoidable out-of-network care.

It should then be up to providers and insurers to negotiate an appropriate payment. If policymakers want a fallback plan – arbitration best fits the bill."Proposals that extend the hand of government into private negotiations through rate setting or ‘network matching’ are unnecessary, untested and frankly amount to a cure searching for a problem.

The HELP Committee also examined an array of other proposals that are designed to reduce health care costs. These proposed rules and regulations are well-intentioned, but many of them don’t achieve the goal of helping patients navigate their medical care costs. While they likely would increase red tape for providers. It’s time to take a breath and carefully consider the effects of these plans on patients and caregivers.

FAH looks forward to working with the Committee as it seeks to perfect the legislation.