House and Senate Health Committee Leaders Statement on Surprise Billing Legislation
Washington, D.C. – House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.), Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-Ore.), Senate Health Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today released the following statement on the surprise medical billing proposals from the House Education and Labor Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee:
“Surprise medical bills are the outrageous result of a broken system that takes advantage of vulnerable patients. Last summer, our two committees advanced bipartisan solutions to protect patients from these bills, and in December we announced a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to put an end to this egregious billing practice.
“Protecting innocent patients has been our top goal throughout this effort, and we appreciate that the other two House committees share this priority. We look forward to working together to deliver a bill to the president’s desk that protects patients and lowers health care costs for American consumers.”
In December 2019, the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Health Committee leaders announced a bipartisan, bicameral agreement on legislation to lower what Americans pay out-of-pocket for their health care. The legislation ends surprise medical bills and lowers prescription drug and other medical costs by requiring greater transparency and competition.
That same month, the committee leaders expanded a bipartisan investigation into surprise billing practices of physician staffing companies and top insurers in letters to Envision Healthcare, TeamHealth, Anthem, Cigna, CVS Health, Health Care Service Corporation, Highmark, and UnitedHealth Group, requesting information and documents pertaining to the billing policies and practices of physician staffing companies and insurers when a patient receives care from an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility, which too often results in a surprise medical bill.