Patients receiving emergency medical care would no longer get surprise medical bills from providers outside their insurance network under a rule issued Thursday by the Biden administration.
The long-awaited rule is the first to follow the so-called No Surprises Act, passed in December 2020 by Congress that sought to protect patients from receiving significant medical bills when they are unwittingly treated by an out-of-network doctor, lab, or other type of provider.
The rule seeks to implement key parts of the legislation protecting patients from being billed by out-of-network doctors who provide treatment at in-network hospitals, as well as protecting them from surprise bills for both emergency and nonemergency care. The interim final rule will undergo 60 days of public comment and largely go into effect on Jan. 1, 2022, when the law takes effect.
“No patient should forgo care for fear of surprise billing,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra in a statement. “Health insurance should offer patients peace of mind that they won’t be saddled with unexpected costs.”
Congress and policy makers have sought to tackle surprise medical bills because patients are paying more out-of-pocket for their care, and many out-of-network charges can occur when patients are unaware that they are being treated by a provider who isn’t covered by their health insurance.
Originally Appeared Here