- Two major pieces of surprise-billing legislation were marked up in their respective House committees [in the week of 14 February]: HR 5826 (Consumer Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills Act) and HR 5800 (Ban Surprise Billing Act). Both of which utilize arbitration.
There is no reason for this surprise billing legislation! It's quite simple: hospitals have outsourced their emergency departments (ED) to enhance their financial positions, and the carriers have not put their feet down and stopped this practice. If the carrier states that hospitals cannot pick and choose which departments must adhere to the contract fees, then the hospitals would have to acquiesce, and we would not have this issue.
Also, why is the US government wasting time with this nonsense?! Create a KISS, simple law to protect consumers! Lawmakers are compounding the problem with the arbitration BS. New, simple legislation could require that if you are a provider working at a hospital which contracts with an insurer, you as the provider MUST accept the hospital’s negotiated fee structure.
In either case, the consumer is not harmed! Which—by the way—is the goal, NOT to put more money in hospitals’, providers’, or attorneys’ pockets (i.e., arbitration).
(Source: NAHU Washington Update 14 February 2020)