Health care giants have gotten rich off the pain and misfortune of Americans for years. After a two-year battle, Congress has finally stood its ground. They made a decision that will ultimately affect the lives of all American citizens. The congressional committee created a deal that will protect patients from receiving “surprise” medical bills.
Congress’s fight to protect patients from medical bills for emergency care is arguably one of the most critical discussions of 2020. The Senate HELP and House Energy and Commerce committee originally planned to create a rate for health insurers to pay providers for emergency visits and out-of-network care. Tech Giants and House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal posed a significant threat to the vision. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to stand down. On Friday, Congress struck an official deal between all parties.
The agreement will require Health insurers and Hospitals to come together. All parties will be responsible for creating a rate. If the parties can’t come to an agreeance, the dispute will go to mediation.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Multiple lawmakers are thrilled. They hope for the deal to be passed as law as soon as possible. Once passed, the deal will provide long-term funding extensions for multiple health programs,
Committee Leaders released the following statement:
“Under this agreement, the days of patients receiving devastating surprise out-of-network medical bills will be over. Patients should not be penalized with these outrageous bills simply because they were rushed to an out-of-network hospital or unknowingly treated by an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility.”
On Sunday a deal for this legislation was included in the pandemic relief package. The legislation will protect patients from getting surprise bills for thousands of dollars for common medical situations like emergency room visits and later finding out a doctor was outside of thier insurance network . Measures of arbitration will determine the insurer’s debt to the doctor. The new plan will also place a strict ban on arbiters utilizing lower payment rates paid by Medicare and Medicaid.
“Patients nationwide have been waiting for years for legal protection from financially devastating surprise bills, and now relief is in sight,” Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association said.