Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society on No Surprises Act

Massachusetts Medical Society on No Surprises Act

The Massachusetts Medical Society appreciates federal policymakers’ recognition that patients need to be protected from surprise medical bills, and we applaud recent bipartisan efforts in Congress that are a critical step in achieving that aim. We are especially thankful for the role House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal from Massachusetts played in negotiating this compromise and for his persistence in improving the bill by incorporating the perspectives of physicians and the patients for whom we care.

No patient or family should be thrown into financial or emotional despair for accessing necessary health care, let alone endure the added stress of being caught in the middle of payment disputes. The "No Surprises Act" would shield patients from receiving these unavoidable medical bills, while incentivizing insurers and physicians to work in good faith to resolve billing disputes.

While we appreciate many of the provisions in the bill, we welcome the opportunity to continue to work with legislators to optimize the impact and operability of this critical bill—in particular, improving provisions regarding claim-related timelines by which an independent dispute resolution (IDR) is initiated and a 90-day “cooling off” period that could be streamlined, among other provisions.

Again, we commend the bill sponsors for taking this important step forward in delivering a legislative proposal that holds patients harmless from surprise bills, while promoting a fair process to resolve billing disputes.

-David A. Rosman, MD, MBA, President, Massachusetts Medical Society

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