We need to protect Americans from surprise medical bills. Unfortunately, North Caorlina State Sen. Todd Johnson’s favored approach does not solve the problem (“Washington must solve the surprise medical billing crisis,” Web, Oct. 3). Instead, it sets up a new bureaucracy that leaves Americans vulnerable to out-of-control health care prices.
California’s experience shows that to truly protect patients, we need a solution that establishes fair, locally-based, competitively-negotiated reimbursement rates. Studies have shown that market-based benchmarks lower costs; the Congressional Budget Office confirmed it would save taxpayers $25 billion over 10 years. California found that a benchmark-based approach meant more care is being delivered by in-network providers and the percentage of in-network doctors is going up. A locally-based benchmark ensures doctors are properly compensated and patients get the care they need without being price-gouged.
Private-equity companies that fund specialty doctors want to use arbitration to settle surprise medical bills — which will cost Americans double-digit billions over 10 years. Patients’ health and financial security shouldn’t be put at risk for private-equity profits. Locally-negotiated benchmarks are effective in protecting patients from surprise medical bills.
President and CEO
America’s Health Insuraance Plans (AHIP)
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