Letter from Nichols, Schillinger, George

We find ourselves at an important legislative crossroads today that could dramatically impact both our company’s future as well as the livelihood of all hospital-based physician practices.

Over the last two weeks, we have requested that you contact your U.S. Senators regarding the Lower Heath Care Costs Act.  This bill addresses surprise medical billing and seeks to eliminate any out of network billing.  We are fully supportive of this effort to remove patients from financial disputes between providers and insurers.  However, we are concerned with the framework included in the legislation that would establish an in-network median rate to resolve disagreements on payment for providers, with no recourse to dispute the payment.  We are advocating for inclusion of an alternative dispute resolution.

There is still time to contact your Senators and ask them to support Senator Cassidy’s amendment to include an alternative dispute resolution process in the bill. The month of July will be critical to having your voice heard on this issue.   

We have made it as convenient as possible for you to reach out to your Senators and Representatives. 

 

Additionally, on the U.S. House of Representatives side, Walden (R-OR)and Pallone (D-NJ) have introduced a similar bill the No Surprises Act in the House.  Like the Lower Health Care Costs Act this bill does not have any recourse for physicians to resolve payment disputes.  Representatives Ruiz (D-CA)and Bera (D-CA) areboth physicians (Ruiz is an emergency physician), and have introduced the Protecting People from Surprise Medical Bills Act (H.R. 3502) that provides for an alternative dispute resolution process. There is still time to contact your Representative to ask that they co-sponsor the Ruiz/Bera and seek an alternative dispute resolution process included in the No Surprises Act.

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Then send this letter to your Senators---

As a doctor, I work hard to care for my patients, and I agree that they should be protected from surprise medical bills. But I’m very concerned that Lower Heath Care Costs Act to impose a price-setting benchmark rate will have disastrous consequences for doctors, like me, who are doing the right thing now. I think there is a better solution out there through an Independent Dispute Resolution process, like the one used in New York, to give both doctors and insurers the opportunity to appeal for a better rate, all while protecting patients.

Senator Cassidy has introduced an amendment that would provide for an alternative dispute resolution.  We know this type of solution works as it has worked in New York which for the last 5 years has seen increases in network participation, fewer out of network claims and stable prices.  This has worked so well that other states like Texas, Colorado and Nevada are implementing this hybrid benchmarking/alternative dispute resolution approach.

Your support of the alternative dispute resolution will protect your constituents – our patients – and ensure they have continued access to live-saving emergency care when and where they need it.  

And this letter to your Representative.

As a doctor, I work hard to care for my patients, and I agree that they should be protected from surprise medical bills. But I’m very concerned that No Surprises Act to impose a price-setting benchmark rate will have disastrous consequences for doctors, like me, who are doing the right thing now. I think there is a better solution out there through an Independent Dispute Resolution process, like the one used in New York, to give both doctors and insurers the opportunity to appeal for a better rate, all while protecting patients.

Representatives Ruiz, Bera and others have introduced Protecting People from Surprise Medical Bills Act. This legislation includes an alternative dispute resolution process. We know this type of solution works as it has worked in New York which for the last 5 years has seen increases in network participation, fewer out of network claims and stable prices.  This has worked so well that other states like Texas, Colorado and Nevada are implementing this hybrid benchmarking/alternative dispute resolution approach.  

I am asking you to co-sponsor the Protecting People from Surprise Medical Bills Act and work to include in the No Surprises Act an amendment that would include an alternative dispute resolution process. 

Your support of the alternative dispute resolution will protect your constituents – our patients – and ensure they have continued access to live-saving emergency care when and where they need it.