WASHINGTON, D.C., November 10, 2021 — The No Surprises Act will take effect Jan. 1, representing a significant milestone in the fight to end surprise medical billing. Ahead of the law taking effect, the American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all, is mobilizing its nationwide network of cardiovascular disease patients and other grassroots advocates to urge the White House and Congress to support strong implementation so the law will work as intended to help shield them from unexpected costs.
“This law is a major breakthrough for patients looking for relief from surprise medical bills and the financial burden they impose on families,” said Donald Lloyd-Jones, M.D., Sc.M., FAHA, American Heart Association President. “Patients nationwide have been waiting for years for legal protection from financially devastating surprise bills. The No Surprises Act must be rigorously enforced to ensure patients receive the protection they need.”
More than half of all patients in the U.S. have received a surprise medical bill for treatment they expected to be covered by insurance. Often, the worry about an unexpected medical bill will keep a patient from seeking care in the first place. Nearly half (49%) of U.S. adults say worrying about an unexpected medical bill keeps them from seeking care, and a similar proportion (44%) say if they received an unexpected medical bill for $1,000 they would not have the money to pay for it, according to the findings of a public opinion survey conducted in October 2020 by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Heart Association.
In December 2020, Congress took a historic first step toward safeguarding patients from the harmful practice of surprise medical billing by passing the No Surprises Act. Now, patients are counting on rigorous implementation of the law that takes them out of the middle of payment disputes and protects them from the devastating impact of unexpected medical bills.
Building upon a successful grassroots advocacy campaign last year urging patients nationwide to share their experiences with surprise bills, the American Heart Association is elevating the voice of patients to call attention to the protections provided by the law.
The grassroots campaign features digital and social media advertising in Washington, D.C. and across the country featuring the patient perspective. The Association also is mobilizing patients to call and email the administration and Congress, both to thank them for their efforts to stop predatory billing practices and to urge them to follow through on the promise of the No Surprises Act with tough rules and strong enforcement.
“Patients suffering from cardiac arrest, heart attack or stroke must focus on their urgent medical needs – they shouldn’t have to worry whether they’ll be able to afford care not covered by insurance,” said Nancy Brown, the American Heart Association Chief Executive Officer. “Patients want the administration and Congress to ensure they’ll receive the protections promised to them in the No Surprises Act.”
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
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