News & Press: Advocacy

AACS Joins AMA in Stand Against Surprise Medical Billing

Thursday, October 17, 2019  
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On October 17, 2019, the American Medical Association sent letters to the United States House and Senate asking them to ensure that their surprise medical billing legislation does not put too much of the burden on patients to pay when they are charged for working with out-of-network providers without their knowledge.

Led by Dr. J. Kevin Duplechain, chair of the Advocacy Committee, AACS joined AMA and 110 other medical organizations in advocating for a balanced approach that "that treats all stakeholders equally while protecting patient access to care." The letters read,

"We strongly believe that, in situations where a coverage gap occurs and patients unknowingly or without a choice receive care from an out-of-network physician or other provider, patients should be held harmless for any costs above their in-network cost-sharing, and their cost-sharing should count toward deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums."

The letters to the House and Senate express concern that current legislation gives too much leverage to insurance companies as opposed to patients and providers. This imbalance could lead to staffing shortages and restricted access to care. Additionally, AMA asks that any surprise billing legislation includes provisions that encourage insurers to maintain adequate networks of providers so that patients do not have to go out of network for proper care.

AACS is committed to ensuring the best possible patient outcomes, which includes making sure that patients are not subjected to higher-than-expected medical bills when receiving treatment. You can read more and view copies of both letters on the AMA website.