Doctors and Hospitals Make Late Bid to Change Surprise Billing Ban
Physician and hospital groups have filed a lawsuit to block part of an upcoming ban on surprise medical billing that was slated to take effect in January. The American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, and a few individual hospitals and providers filed the lawsuit on grounds that regulators in the Biden administration have wrongly interpreted the law's language, causing harm to medical providers. The groups are looking to modify how contract negotiations occur between insurers and health care providers. The lawsuit could potentially affect which hospitals and physicians opt to go in-network with insurers, and cause insurance premiums to rise. The legislation prohibits surprise bills starting on January 1, and prevents physicians from billing patients directly. The lawsuit includes affidavits from two hospital executives who say they are confident the regulations will cause insurers to cancel contracts or demand that hospitals lower their fees. In order to win the suit, the medical providers will need to demonstrate that the Biden administration was "arbitrary" or "capricious" in its interpretation of the law or that it lacked statutory authority.
Read more on The New York Times.