fah hospital policy blog

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

#TBT: Hospitals Outline Solutions to Protect Patients from Surprise Bills

May 09, 2019 | FAH Policy Blog Team

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In a few hours the White House is scheduled to hold an event to advocate for protecting patients from surprise medical bills.

Health care providers are united in our support of this objective.

#TBT – Over the past several month hospitals have sent letters to Congress calling for a federal legislative solution to the issue of surprise out-of-network billing.

In February, every major hospital group outlined principles for policy makers to consider as they develop solutions to address surprise billing. The letter can be found here.

In April, FAH, AHA and the AMA sent a letter to leaders on Capitol Hill that once again reiterated this point: “No patient should have the added stress and financial burden of receiving a bill for out-of-network emergency care that they could not avoid or out-of-network care that they reasonably could have expected to be in-network.”

We support a federal solution that provides patients certainty regarding their cost-sharing obligations based on an in-network amount, while providers and health plans arrive at a fair payment rate for services.

It is a simple solution that is in stark contrast to what some are calling for – hospital bundled billing.

The April letter, which can be found here, points out the pitfalls of this complex, untested concept and highlights why bunding payments is the wrong way to protect patients from surprise bills.

We appreciate the Administration’s focus on this issue and look forward to working with policy makers on practical solutions.