Published on: July 31, 2020
Authors: D. Mark Wilson
July 31, 2020
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
The Honorable Mitch McConnell
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Leader McCarthy, and Leader Schumer:
HR Policy Association and the American Health Policy Institute strongly urge you to include in the next COVID-19 relief bill the bipartisan, bicameral compromise legislation on surprise medical bills developed by the Senate Health Committee, and the House Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor Committees. Their compromise provides a fair, market-based solution that will lower patients’ premiums and will not interfere with the strong protections states already have in place.
The HR Policy Association is the leading organization representing chief human resource officers of over 390 of the largest employers in the United States. Collectively, their companies provide health care coverage to over 20 million employees and dependents in the United States. The American Health Policy Institute serves to provide thought leadership grounded in the practical experience of America’s largest employers. Over the past 20 years, large employers have worked hard to provide innovative, high value health care benefits at the lowest possible cost.
A new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found “surprise medical billing is a widespread and costly problem in the U.S.” and “given the added potential risk that patients will be treated by providers outside of their network during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency, … Congress needs to enact a permanent and comprehensive solution to protect patients from surprise billing.”
Specifically, we urge you to end surprise medical billing for all patients by implementing fair, market-based payments for out-of-network charges. By aligning out-of-network reimbursement to local, privately negotiated amounts, Congress would address the root cause of the surprise bills and lower health care costs for consumers, employers and taxpayers. It’s time for Congress to solve this problem for the American people. A bipartisan, bicameral solution is at hand and the American people can’t afford to wait any longer.
We look forward to working with you to ensure the next COVID-19 measure Congress passes includes provisions to ensure all patients are protected from all surprise medical bills.
D. Mark Wilson
President, American Health Policy Institute
Vice President, Health & Employment Policy,
HR Policy Association