Bundled billing not the answer to surprise-billing problem, hospital groups say

The Federation of American Hospitals, American Hospital Association and American Medical Association are coming out against bundled billing as a solution to protect patients from unexpected out-of-pocket costs.

The groups penned a letter to several congressional committees April 2, saying it supports a federal surprise-billing solution that limits patients' cost-sharing obligations to the in-network amount and bans balance billing when there is a process for insurers and providers to agree on a fair payment rate.

But they do not support hospital bundled billing.

The groups argue that bundled payments "are not appropriate for emergency care and have not been sufficiently tested for widespread adoption for other types of care."

"This concept may seem simple and straightforward in theory; in reality, however, this approach would be administratively complex, fundamentally change the relationship between hospitals and their physician partners, and alone, does nothing to protect patients from surprise bills. We strongly oppose such a model," the groups wrote.

The letter was sent to leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Ways and Means Committee and Education and Labor Committee, as well as the Senate Finance and HELP committees.

Read the full letter here.


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