Mandated arbitration for patient’s surprise billing not the answer

Mandated arbitration for patient’s surprise billing is not the answer.

The Economic Alliance for Michigan (EAM) and its members are pleased that the U.S. Congress is working to address the surprise billing problem that is plaguing patients around the country. Some providers are using a loophole in the marketplace to extract more money from patients in an already expensive healthcare system. Mandating arbitration to address these bills legitimizes these unsavory billing practices. Patients would be protected on the front end but would ultimately pay for higher costs later. Paying more later is not a solution. We ask Congress to protect patients from the high costs of healthcare today and tomorrow.

As we have seen from the arbitration experience in the State of New York, costs have only increased. In Texas providers have chosen to go through the arbitration process rather than negotiate with employer and individually sponsored health plans. Higher costs and less access to care are not solutions. Providers are already receiving reimbursement that is significantly above what Medicare is paying. Instituting a federally mandated program to force higher reimbursement puts access to healthcare in jeopardy for millions of Americans.

The EAM applauds the Michigan Legislature for developing a market-based solution for surprise billing and encourages the U.S. Congress to follow Michigan’s example by establishing a process where all patients, providers, employers, and workers benefit from local, fairly negotiated, market-based rates.

For more informational please contact Stacy, communications director for the EAM at stacyleick@eamonline.org.

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