WASHINGTON, D.C. – The year-end congressional spending bill includes bipartisan legislation to end surprise medical billing. Eagan Kemp, health care advocate at Public Citizen, released the following statement:
“Despite health care profiteers’ efforts, Americans will now be protected from most surprise bills. However, Congress must still act to protect Americans from surprise bills for ground ambulances, a crucial gap in the current compromise.
In addition, the use of arbitration to resolve disputes between insurers and providers – instead of using pre-set benchmark rates – means further inflation of our already high inflated health care costs.
Oversight will be crucial to prevent abuses, especially by private equity-backed providers that use surprise bills to bilk patients. Private equity-backed providers are likely to try to take advantage of the arbitration process to drive up their compensation over time at the behest of their corporate overlords.”