Lobbyists fight to influence federal surprise-billing legislation

As federal lawmakers work on surprise-billing legislation, lobbyists for insurance companies, hospitals and physician groups are making efforts to influence decisionmakers in Congress, according to News 4 San Antonio.

Lawmakers are considering various federal proposals to protect patients from surprise medical bills that occur after they unintentionally receive out-of-network care in emergency situations or at in-network hospitals. One idea under consideration is a dispute resolution process, such as arbitration, for out-of-network payments between providers and insurance companies. A benchmarking approach for these out-of-network payments is also under consideration.

On the issue, healthcare stakeholders agree: No one wants patients stuck with an outrageous out-of-network bill. But they do not necessarily agree on how to solve the problem.

Insurance companies generally are advocating for the benchmark approach, while hospitals and physicians are generally in favor of an arbitration system, according to News 4 San Antonio.

The station reported that insurance and medical lobbies have been fighting in Congress for their positions.

In addition to lobbying, Bloomberg Government reported Aug. 26 that a mystery group has invested more than $13 million since July advertising in more than 20 states on surprise-billing legislation.

Congress has been in recess but reconvenes in September.

 

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