Washington, D.C., June 9, 2021 – Twenty-two patient and consumer organizations representing millions of people facing serious, acute, chronic health conditions are urging the Biden administration to issue regulations that prevent patients from receiving surprise medical bills as Congress intended when it passed the No Surprises Act in December as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act.
In a letter sent today to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh, the groups call for regulations underpinning the law to have robust safeguards for patients.
“We worked alongside Congress to develop the bi-partisan, bi-cameral legislation to provide protections for patients from receiving unexpected medical bills,” the organizations’ letter states. “To truly ensure that patients are held harmless from surprise billing, however, it is critical that the regulations underpinning the law have robust safeguards for patients.”
The letter emphasizes that regulation must encapsulate the two principal goals of the legislation and Congress’ intent:
- First, the law must be implemented in a way that provides consumers with clear, comprehensive protections against surprise bills where they have not knowingly obtained out-of-network care.
- Second, the law must be implemented in a way that ensures the independent dispute resolution (IDR) process does not lead to higher costs for patients.
Additionally, the groups call for a comprehensive and well-funded campaign to notify consumers of their new rights under the No Surprises Act. This landmark law will extend comprehensive protections for the first time in the states without their own surprise billing laws and to the nearly 135 million people in self-insured plans. By investing in consumer education and oversight officials can ensure the law is implemented and enforced as Congress intended.
Regulations to implement the No Surprises Act are due by July 1.
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American Diabetes Association
American Heart Association
American Kidney Fund
American Liver Foundation
American Lung Association
Cancer Support Community
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Hemophilia Federation of America
Mended Little Hearts
Muscular Dystrophy Association
National Alliance on Mental Illness
National Hemophilia Foundation
National Patient Advocate Foundation
Pulmonary Hypertension Association
Susan G. Komen
The AIDS Institute
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease
About the American Heart Association
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