WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 17, 2019) — Today, hundreds of thousands of physicians unified under the Out of the Middle Coalition applaud Representatives Raul Ruiz, MD, (D-Calif.) and Phil Roe, MD, (R-Tenn.), for reaching 100 cosponsors on their bipartisan solution to address surprise medical bills. This legislation now has more support than any other pending surprise medical billing legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In reaching this co-sponsorship milestone, the Protecting People From Surprise Medical Bills Act (H.R. 3502), demonstrates the widespread and growing interest in advancing a balanced solution to the surprise medical billing problem. This solution is critical as it takes patients out of the middle, ensures that patients have access to health care services when and where they need them, and provides a level playing field between physicians and insurers — including a fair process for resolving billing and payment disputes.
The Out of the Middle Coalition appreciates the leadership of these members of Congress in protecting our patients. We strongly encourage key committees tasked with addressing this issue, including the House Committee on Education and Labor and the House Committee on Ways and Means, to consider this particular legislation as the most equitable and common-sense solution to tackle surprise medical bills.
The Protecting People from Surprise Medical Bills Act gets to the root cause of surprise bills — inadequate insurance networks. The legislation is based on the successful model that is currently in place in New York state, which has reduced complaints related to surprise bills, increased the number of in-network physicians and saved health care dollars. First and foremost, H.R. 3502 includes robust patient protections that ensure individuals only pay in-network amounts for their care, whether the care provided was in- or out-of-network. The bill also makes it easier for patients to understand the limits of their insurance coverage, safeguards access to emergency care and preserves access to planned care by the physician of their choice. Finally, this bill encourages transparency from health plans and establishes a fair and efficient payment dispute resolution process between physicians and insurers, with no patient involvement.
On behalf of the millions of patients we care for each day, the Out of the Middle Coalition celebrates this significant milestone and applauds the 100 co-sponsors for their leadership on this important patient protection issue.
Out of the Middle represents thousands of physicians across the country who are advocating on behalf of the millions of patients they care for every day and demanding Congress protect these patients from surprise medical bills without letting insurance companies dodge their responsibility to cover their care. The coalition comprises the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Association of Neurological Surgeons, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American College of Emergency Physicians, American College of Radiology, American Society of Anesthesiologists, College of American Pathologists, Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the National Association of Spine Specialists.