Leaders of the House Ways and Means and House Education and Labor Committees released legislation on Feb. 7, aimed at protecting patients from surprise medical billing.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-Texas) announced the Consumer Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation protecting patients from surprise medical bills and establishing a payment resolution process.
Unlike surprise billing legislation passed by the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) Committees in 2019, the Ways and Means Committee approach does not create a statutory reimbursement rate, but rather it preserves negotiation between payers and providers. The proposal would establish an independent dispute resolution or arbitration process to reach a final payment if the parties are unable to reach an agreement. The Committee is expected to markup the legislation on Feb. 12.
Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) and Ranking Member Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) also revealed their surprise billing legislation, the Ban Surprise Billing Act. In a summary, the committee indicates that the proposal is similar to the House Energy and Commerce and Senate HELP legislation passed in 2019 and includes the establishment of a statutory in-network rate. The Committee is scheduled to mark up the legislation Feb. 11.