While Congress continues to debate a number of proposals to address the issue of surprise medical bills, President Donald Trump issued some guiding principles for addressing the issue. The President said his administration wants to ensure patients are not taken advantage of and have the price information they need to make informed decisions. While the principles do not offer many details, they encompass the following ideas:
- Ensure that both emergency and non-emergency care that patients did not choose do not result in a surprise bill;
- Ensure patients know whether scheduled care is in or out of network, as well as what the cost impact of out-of-network care might be;
- End the practice of balance billing for out-of-network emergency care; and,
- Federal health care expenditures should not increase.
When asked, the Trump administration also expressed a lack of enthusiasm for bills that would establish an arbitration process, which have been discussed in the U.S. Senate.
In April, WHA met with Wisconsin’s Congressional Delegation and voiced support for improving health care transparency and reducing surprise medical bills, noting its PricePoint and CheckPoint websites that have allowed consumers to access meaningful cost and quality data on Wisconsin hospitals for 15 years. WHA is also reconvening its Transparency Task Force to compile new industry advancements and best practices pertaining to price transparency.
Contact WHA Vice President of Public Policy Lisa Ellinger or WHA Director of Federal and State Relations Jon Hoelter for more information.