The AMA sent a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health expressing opposition to H.R. 3630, the “No Surprises Act,” which is scheduled for markup on Thursday morning, July 11.  While the AMA supports the patient protections included in this and other relevant bills, we cannot support the provisions that would resolve payment disputes between physicians and insurers by setting rates at the median in-network amount. Read the full AMA Letter here.

Instead, the AMA is recommending that any surprise billing legislation:

  • Establish benchmark rates that are fair to all stakeholders in the private market; benchmark rates should include actual local charges as determined through an independent claims database.
  • Establish a fair and independent dispute resolution (IDR) process to resolve disputes about payments from insurers to unaffiliated providers for services rendered out-of-network to their beneficiaries.
  • Protect patients from out-of-network billing and preserve patient access to hospital based care by holding insurers accountable for addressing their own contributions to the problem.

The full Committee on Energy and Commerce is expected to take up the bill before the end of July, at which point amendments may be offered.  In addition, two other committees share jurisdiction over this issue—the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee.  At present, dates for action by those two panels  have not been set.

We encourage all Federation groups to contact members of the full Energy and Commerce Committee to express their concerns with the legislation.