FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Bill Finerfrock
HBMA ADVISES SENIOR WHITE HOUSE STAFF ON SURPRISE BILLING POLICIES
(WASHINGTON) – The Healthcare Business Management Association (HBMA) today announced that it met recently with senior White House advisors to discuss the issue of “surprise medical bills,” also known as unexpected out-of-network bills. Representatives of HBMA’s Government Relations Committee met at the White House on February 13 with presidential Special Assistant for Health Policy Brian Blase, Ph.D. along with Katy Talento, Director of Health Policy for the Domestic Policy Council (DPC); John Brooks, Health Advisor to the DPC; Dr. Tomas Philipson of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors; Maria Bonner representing Vice President Mike Pence; Steven Menashi, Associate Counsel and Special Assistant to the President; and other White House staff.
The HBMA representatives sought clarification on President Trump’s vision for action on the issue of unexpected out-of-network bills. The delegation also shared with White House advisors concerns that revenue cycle management (RCM) companies and their physician clients have expressed about some of the proposals related to unexpected out-of-network bills that have been introduced in Congress.
Unexpected out-of-network bills are charges from a doctor or other healthcare provider who is not part of an insurance network when a patient obtains treatment at a facility that is within the insurance network. Because health insurance plans negotiate with doctors and other healthcare providers over the fees they charge for services, the cost of professional services for an out-of-network healthcare provider can be significantly higher than when seeing a provider who is in network.
HBMA Government Relations Committee Chair Arthur Roosa said, “Our goal was to educate President Trump and Dr. Blase on the surprise medical billing issue to ensure that any proposal the president might support does not restrict the ability of physicians to negotiate in good faith with health insurance plans over fair and reasonable reimbursement rates for out-of-network care.”
HBMA has an Out-of-Network Task Force studying the issue of unexpected out-of-network bills. Recommendations from the task force are expected by the end of March.
Roosa went on to state, “The meeting was the first of many expected discussions with the Trump Administration on the issue of unexpected out-of-network bills. HBMA wants to preserve the ability of physicians to negotiate fair and reasonable contracts with health insurance plans, and we do not want to see bad policies make their way into federal law or regulation.”
About the Healthcare Business Management Association (HBMA)
HBMA is a non-profit, member-led trade association of companies that support doctors and other medical providers by handling their medical billing and revenue collection processes, services known as revenue cycle management (RCM). HBMA works with legislative stakeholders and federal agencies in Washington, D.C. to improve the business of medical billing and the practice of healthcare. Since its inception in 1993, HBMA and its members have encouraged professional development and adherence to the HBMA Code of Ethics, advocated on behalf of the RCM profession, and promoted business development through educational events, networking opportunities, certification programs, and a wide range of affiliated vendor resources. For more information about HBMA, visit the www.hbma.org.