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  • Washington Highlights

    Ways and Means Committee Holds Surprise Billing Hearing 


    Allyson Perleoni, Director, Government Relations
    For Media Inquiries

    The House Ways and Means Committee held a Sept. 19 hearing titled, “Reduced Care for Patients: Fallout From Flawed Implementation of Surprise Medical Billing Protections.” The hearing was convened to discuss the implementation of the No Surprises Act (P.L. 116-260).  

    While most committee members applauded the law for removing patients from billing disputes, many expressed concerns that the federal government has not implemented the law appropriately. Committee Chair Jason Smith (R-Mo.) noted that “rulemaking has unfortunately ignored congressional intent.” Ranking Member Richie Neal (D-Mass.) concurred with this observation, declaring “We will continue to work closely with the administration to ensure that this law is implemented as Congress wrote it.”  

    Jim Budzinski, executive vice president and chief financial officer for WellStar Health System highlighted ongoing problems with the independent dispute resolution (IDR) process, stating, “IDR rules have been written and rewritten several times and are still problematic. The process is inefficient, and the results, when there are results, are arbitrary.” Budzinski also lamented the payment process, highlighting behavior by payers that results in lower reimbursement and increased administrative burden.