Physicians For Fair Coverage

PFC Statement on the Bicameral Surprise Billing Provision

Thursday, 12/12/19

Physicians for Fair Coverage (PFC), a non-profit, non-partisan alliance of tens of thousands of physicians, released the following statement after details of the surprise medical billing provision within the House Energy and Commerce and Senate HELP Committee’s health care package were unveiled:

“No patient should ever receive a surprise medical bill, and that’s why since 2016 PFC and our physicians have been advocating to end this practice in states around the country and now at the national level. We want to work with our partners in Congress to improve the Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019 and include a proven balanced approach with strong patient protections and a meaningful and accessible independent dispute resolution process between physicians and insurers that also protects access to care. Unfortunately, this proposal does not meet those criteria for a fair and balanced solution to end surprise medical bills. We share the concerns expressed by the American Medical Association and American Hospital Association that this proposal needs significant improvements before moving forward. We believe more time is needed to ensure a fair solution can be reached, and we share the desire of members of Congress and other stakeholders to be constructive thought partners working toward that goal,” said PFC President Dr. Anthony Gabriel.

“This issue is too important to rush through a policy where serious concerns remain before the end of the year. Members of Congress have collectively heard from thousands of physicians about the importance of a robust IDR process that will prevent bad actors from gaming the system. I am hopeful that our lawmakers will continue to work with us on a solution that ends surprise medical bills, protects patients, and levels the playing field among insurers and medical providers.”

PFC’s statement comes on the heels of a number of provider groups raising concerns about the Lower Health Care Costs Act of 2019, including: The American Medical AssociationThe Association of American Medical CollegesAmerican College of Emergency PhysiciansThe American College of SurgeonsAmerican Hospital AssociationThe Federation of American HospitalsThe Greater New York Hospital Association; and The Texas Medical Association.