On June 15, WSHA submitted comments on a second round of rulemaking related to the Balance Billing Protection Act (BBPA) passed during the 2019 legislative session and effective January 1, 2020. The Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) is undergoing this additional rulemaking to clarify terms related to arbitration and other provisions of the law. In its comments, WSHA encouraged OIC to apply the criteria broadly in aggregating claims for arbitration. This should help make arbitration more financially feasible for provider groups with a high volume of lower cost services. WSHA also recommended that the informal negotiation period under the BBPA should be extended by mutual written consent of the parties in order to come to a consensus and avoid arbitration.
As it implements the new act, OIC has begun to release information. OIC reported to the legislature that arbitration requests so far have come primarily from anesthesia and emergency physician groups. WSHA will continue to participate in the rulemaking process as it progresses. On June 9, OIC provided a webinar on the arbitration provisions of the BBPA. A recording is available here. (Andrew Busz, firstname.lastname@example.org).