Posted December 20, 2021
Last week, KMA signed on to an amicus brief filed by The Physicians Advocacy Institute (PAI) in support of the Texas Medical Association (TMA)’s lawsuit alleging that the federal agencies responsible for implementing the No Surprises Act failed to follow clear direction from Congress on how arbiters should resolve surprise medical billing disputes between physicians and insurers under the law.
The No Surprises Act, passed by Congress and signed into law in 2020, channels payment disputes between physicians and insurers through an independent, third-party arbiter and requires that several factors must be taken into account as part of the arbitration.
“Physicians strongly support action to ensure the No Surprises Act is able to protect patients and promote fairness in resolving billing disputes as Congress intended,” said Dustin Corcoran, president of PAI and chief executive officer of the California Medical Association. “Federal regulators found a creative approach to rewrite the rules of engagement in insurers’ favor,” Corcoran continued. “The No Surprises Act requires arbiters to treat physicians and insurers fairly when resolving billing disputes. The interim final rule supported by insurers effectively undoes the law. If it is allowed to stand, it will boost insurers’ profits at the expense of physicians and patients.”
KMA President Neal Moser, M.D., agrees. “This legal action is important to the entire medical community. The regulations being issued go beyond the law that Congress passed and seem to run counter to what KMA and others advocated for when the law was being debated.”
KMA joined twelve other state medical associations in signing on to the brief. The No Surprises Act will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.