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AHIP Testifies On Solutions To Protect Patients From Surprise Medical Bills

posted by AHIP

on June 12, 2019

On June 12, 2019, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing on surprise medical billing. The panel of witnesses included Jeanette Thornton, AHIP’s Senior Vice President for Product, Employer, and Commercial Policy.

In the written testimony we submitted for this hearing, we thank committee leaders for developing a bipartisan discussion draft of the “No Surprises Act” and for inviting feedback and comments from consumers, health care organizations, and other interested parties. We note that this draft legislation takes important steps toward ensuring that patients are protected, doctors are paid fairly, health plan networks are supported, and the free market is permitted to work to deliver affordable, high-quality care.

Our testimony also focuses on:

  • A review of how surprise medical bills occur;
  • Data demonstrating the frequency and magnitude of surprise medical bills;
  • Our recommendations for federal legislation to protect patients from surprise medical bills;
  • Information on the relationship between surprise billing protections and health plan networks;
  • Our concern that arbitration as the primary mechanism to address surprise medical billing will increase health care costs for everyone and harm consumers; and
  • A comparison of three state laws – enacted in California, Texas, and New York – that provide important lessons as we seek federal legislative solutions that will effectively protect the health and financial security of every American.