Urge Congress to Support H.R. 3502

CALAAEM News Service calaaem.news.service at gmail.com
Sat Sep 7 14:07:22 PDT 2019


Sept. 7, 2019


Urge Congress to Support H.R. 3502


 <https://www.cmadocs.org/newsroom> CMA


September 4, 2019


Congress has taken significant steps in moving legislation aimed at tackling
the issue of surprise billing by passing bills out of committees in both the
House and Senate. Both bills would protect patients by limiting their
out-of-pocket costs to amounts they would have owed if they had been treated
by an in-network physician. And the California Medical Association (CMA)
agrees patients should be protected from surprise medical bills. However,
neither bill holds health insurers accountable. 


The current House and Senate bills mirror California's unsuccessful surprise
billing law (AB 72). While California succeeded in protecting patients from
surprise medical bills, the rest of the law is not working. Insurers across
the state are canceling long-standing contracts with physician groups or
imposing significant payment cuts. Insurers have decided they no longer need
to contract because they can just pay the low rate established by state law.
Physician networks are diminishing and access to care is in jeopardy for
in-network care, as well as for emergency physicians and on-call surgeons,
anesthesiologists and other specialists who care for patients in


CMA and all of organized medicine are urging Congress to support H.R. 3502,
the "Protecting People from Surprise Medical Bills Act," authored by
physician Congressmen Raul Ruiz, M.D., (D-CA) and Phil Roe, M.D., (R-TN),
which is based on the proven, successful New York model. H.R. 3502 protects
patients from surprise medical bills and establishes a fair, inexpensive
baseball arbitration process where the arbiter chooses between the insurer's
payment offer and the physician's fee. This system has motivated both sides
to be more reasonable and resolve their differences prior to arbitration. In
New York, patients are protected, networks are stable, out-of-network
payments are declining and insurance premium growth below the national


CMA is urging physicians to contact their members of Congress and ask them
to support surprise billing legislation that protects the patient and holds
insurers accountable for failing to provide adequate networks of physicians.
To send a message to your members of Congress please click here. 



Brian Potts MD, MBA
Managing Editor, CAL/AAEM News Service


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