February 20, 2020

House Ways and Means Committee Unveil Consumer Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills Act of 2020

The House Committee on Ways and Means recently proposed a two-tiered system to settle disputed surprise medical bills. The bill provides for an initial 30-day negotiation process to resolve payment issues without federal intervention.  If negotiations are unsuccessful, either party can initiate an independent third-party arbitration process, with the arbitrators prohibited from considering billed or usual and customary charges. Two other bills also address the surprise medical bill issue. First, there is a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to use a median in-network rate of 160% for out-of-network charges allowing providers to appeal. Second, a bill introduced by the House Committee on Education and Labor proposes using a median in-network rate for disputes below $750, with arbitration for greater amounts.