California Medical Association throws support behind Texas No Surprises Act lawsuit

The California Medical Association has added its name to the list of organizations supporting the Texas Medical Association's lawsuit challenging the No Surprises Act final rule's independent dispute resolution process. 

The Texas Medical Association filed a lawsuit Sept. 22 — its second against the No Surprises Act — arguing the final rule, released Aug. 19, gives too much of an advantage to payers during arbitration. 

The CMA said in an Oct. 4 news release it agrees with the Texas Medical Association. 

"The final rule unlawfully ties arbitrators’ hands and places an unmistakable 'thumb on the scale' for the insurers," the release said. "It ultimately allows insurers to shirk their responsibilities to patients, and enjoy even higher profits at the expense of patients, providers and employers. The rule disincentivizes insurers from negotiating contracts in good faith, paying appropriate rates, and providing robust physician networks to meet the needs of patients."

CMA added that the rule will harm patients' access to medical care, particularly to speciality care in emergencies. The group also alleged that the rule is forcing more physicians out of network and accelerating consolidation, "leading to increased costs to employers, patients and the government." 

The American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association have said they are filing an amicus brief supporting the Texas Medical Association's lawsuit. 

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