To help control employer health care costs, HR Policy urged the Biden administration to “ensure [its] final rules retain strong provisions providing a predictable, clear arbitration process in which the local market [provider reimbursement] rate is a prominent consideration.”
Background: In February, a federal judge struck down several key provisions in the Biden administration’s surprise billing interim final rule that were designed to protect employer health plans and employees from higher health care costs, but allowed the provisions outlining the process for resolving surprise bills to remain in place.
HR Policy and other employer groups said employers “expect the [court] decision will lead to wide variation, and lack of predictability, in arbitration outcomes.” We further noted the decision would “lead to a greater use of arbitration”; and “increase administrative costs for all parties, most of which will be directly or indirectly passed onto employers, purchasers, and families.”
Outlook: It is unclear if the Biden administration will appeal the court decision. Meanwhile, five other legal challenges to the rule remain in courts. The administration is expected to publish a final rule before summer.