US Legislators To Rein In Surprise Laboratory, Imaging, Other Health-Care Bills
The US House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee held a hearing on 12 June on proposed legislation to end “surprise medical billing,” spurred in part by out-of-network laboratory and advanced imaging bills, while Senate HELP Committee leaders continued to promote their own draft Lower Health Care Cost Act, addressing similar issues.
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A crop of new US consumer protection state laws and proposed federal legislation is aimed at stopping medical specialists from the practice of balance billing.
The Senate HELP Committee has targeted “ancillary service providers” – radiologists, laboratorians, anesthesiologists and pathologists – who frequently serve health-care facilities on an out-of-network basis by requiring HHS rules to limit their reimbursements to the private payer in-network rate, as part of an effort to end surprise billing.
Despite industry opposition, President Trump signed a cost transparency executive order giving HHS the regulatory power to reveal to the public, health-care facilities’ costs of devices and procedures.