60+ groups call on Congress to pass surprise billing protections

More than 60 organizations representing consumers, employers and unions sent a letter to Congress urging it to pass legislation that protects patients from surprise medical bills.

In 2019, private equity firms blocked legislation reforming surprise medical billing. The letter, sent Nov. 30, argues that these firms and out-of-network providers take advantage of medical billing loopholes, imposing a significant and unexpected financial burden on patients.

In the letter, the groups referenced a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that shows 12 percent of patients who underwent a colonoscopy from an in-network endoscopist at an in-network facility were still sent a surprise bill from an out-of-network anesthesiologist or pathologist. They also highlighted recent research published in the American Journal of Managed Care that shows policy addressing surprise medical billing could save Americans as much as $212 per year on health insurance premiums.

The groups wrote that the matter is urgent, as more Americans will be financially burdened by surprise bills during the pandemic, when more patients are visiting care providers with urgent or emergency health concerns.

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