On Monday, WSHA sent letters to Senator Patty Murray and Representative Catherine McMorris Rodgers expressing concerns about the proposed federal “The No Surprises Act.” The bill would prohibit balance billing of patients for certain unexpected out of network services and impose new billing and notification requirements. Washington State passed its own Balance Billing Protection Act during the 2019 legislative session, which was effective January 1, 2020.
In its letters, WSHA expressed support for the proposal’s patient protections and the independent dispute resolution provisions, which are generally consistent with Washington’s law. However, WSHA expressed significant concerns that some of the proposal’s billing and transparency provisions are unclear, in some cases unworkable, and would result in delays in care. WSHA also expressed concern about bill provisions that could potentially make hospitals responsible for the billing and payment policies and performance of independent provider groups and health plans. WSHA will continue to engage with our congressional delegation on this issue. We encourage hospitals to provide input to Senator Murray by contacting Nick Bath and Evan Schatz (nick_bath@HELP.senate.gov and Evan_Schatz@HELP.senate.gov) in Senator Murray’s office. (Andrew Busz, AndrewB@wsha.org)