No Surprises Act's flawed implementation made problems worse, lawmaker says

The federal government's flawed implementation of the No Surprises Act has made the problem it intended to fix worse, Missouri Rep. Jason Smith said. 

Mr. Smith is the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which held a hearing Sept. 20 regarding the law. He said the flawed implementation is "resulting in more medical providers no longer covered under health insurance networks."

"All of this makes it harder for patients to access quality care as health care facilities struggle to even keep their doors open, particularly in rural areas," Mr. Smith said in his opening remarks. "Consequently, emergency room wait times have doubled since 2020. The rules implementing the No Surprises Act have inflamed an existing staff shortage in an industry where having too few people can be a life and death matter. Right now, 600 rural hospitals are at risk of shutting down."

Mr. Smith criticized federal agencies for not implementing the advanced explanation of benefits, which he said was one of the key reforms Ways and Means Committee members fought to include in the No Surprises Act. 

He said that, left unchanged, the No Surprises Act will continue to lead to less access to quality of care. 

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