Massachusetts Medical Society: Surprise Billing and Patient Notice

Surprise Billing and Patient Notice

Surprise Bills

Breaking Down Federal & State Surprise Billing Requirements for Massachusetts Physicians

In the final days of 2020, both Congress and the Massachusetts legislature passed laws related to surprise or out-of-network billing and related requirements for notice and disclosure for patients regarding network status and price transparency. The federal “No Surprises Act”, as detailed in resources below, establishes a comprehensive statutory framework, including a ban on surprise billing, creation of an independent dispute resolution process, and patient notice and disclosure provisions. Provisions contained in the Massachusetts Patients First Act (Section 25 of Chapter 260 of the Acts of 2020), as detailed in the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) bulletin below, similarly impose provider responsibilities for patient notice and disclosure regarding network status and price transparency.

The Medical Society has been actively engaged on these issues, working with the state Department of Public Health and congressional stakeholders to understand this complex landscape and reconcile the competing obligations under both laws. After persistent and compelling advocacy by the Medical Society, the Massachusetts legislature passed a law further delaying the implementation and enforcement of penalties for the violation of the state notice provisions by the MDPH until January 1, 2025. Recognizing the challenges posed by overlapping state and federal requirements, the legislature heeded our call to further delay the state requirements while the federal regulatory process is finalized. This delay averts significant administrative redundancy and burden for physicians and confusion for patients.

Massachusetts Medical Society Resources

Massachusetts Patients First Act Resources

Federal No Surprises Act Resources

This information included and linked to on this page is intended to serve as a general resource and guide. It is not to be construed as legal advice. Attorneys with knowledge of the surprise billing and price transparency laws should be consulted regarding the application of these laws to specific situations.

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