Matt Eyles, president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), issued this statement as the House Committee on Energy and Commerce sends H.R. 3630, the "No Surprises Act," to the full committee, toprotect Americans from surprise medical bills:
"Every American deserves affordable, high-quality coverage and care, and hardworking families should be protected from surprise medical bills that undermine affordability, access, and peace of mind. The 'No Surprises Act' is a commonsense, bipartisan approach to protecting patients from egregious, price-gouging tactics.
"It is indefensible that a few types of providers are systemically taking advantage of medical emergencies for their own outsized financial gain. Knowing patients in the emergency room are often in dire situations - where care is not a choice and can be a matter of life-or-death - they impose "usual and customary" charges and send surprise bills demanding payments that are hundreds or thousands of percent higher than fair market value.
"These charges aren't usual-and-customary but instead an exorbitant fabrication not based in reality. That is why America cannot afford to accept these charges as a reasonable starting point for benchmark payments or arbitration. Instead, we need to base payments on competitive, local, private-market negotiations - where everyone is equally incented to agree to reasonable payments.
"Americans deserve better than arbitration. We encourage members of Congress to keep the interests of patients and consumers at the center of their legislative decisions through a fair, market-based benchmark rate, so that together we can improve affordability and access for every American."