WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 11, 2020) — American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) President Kristy L. Weber, MD, FAAOS, issued the following statement in response to the recently released House Ways and Means Committee proposal to address surprise medical bills:
“The AAOS recognizes and thanks the committee for its progress to protect patients from surprise billing and create a framework for Independent Dispute Resolution with this legislation. We are also pleased that it does not include a threshold for mediation, which would impede access to this proven process for settling disputes. However, we ask that the committee continue working with us and the entire physician community in good faith to improve the bill.
“Successful legislation should further clarify that the median in-network rate is meant to be a floor and starting point for negotiation, not the primary or deciding factor. Otherwise insurers will use it as a de-facto benchmark to dictate prices and continue manipulating the market, so that access to care and choice of provider are further reduced. Additionally, the bill underestimates the time and effort needed for physicians to adequately value procedures using total reimbursement data that they may not currently have access to.
“We urge the committee to heed these concerns and look for ways to ensure that the bill more directly addresses the real problem—inadequate networks. Our doctors and our patients depend on the outcome, and we will continue to advocate for a fair, accessible process that empowers them both.”
About the AAOS
The American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons' (AAOS) Office of Government Relations promotes and advocates the viewpoint of the orthopaedic community before federal and state legislative, regulatory, and executive agencies. Based in Washington, D.C., with additional staff in the Academy's headquarters in Rosemont, Illinois, the Office of Government Relations identifies, analyzes, and directs all health policy activities and initiatives to position the AAOS as the trusted leaders in advancing musculoskeletal health.
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