Bennet, Bipartisan Working Group Seek Answers from Health Care Providers and Insurers on Surprise Medical Bills

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) today led a bipartisan health care price transparency working group—including Todd Young (R-IN), Tom Carper (D-DE), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Maggie Hassan (D-NH)—in seeking answers from health care providers and insurers as part of their ongoing effort to develop bipartisan legislation to end surprise medical bills.

The senators’ latest questions for the health care industry seek more detailed information to supplement the input they received regarding draft legislation, the Protecting Patients from Surprise Medical Bills Act, released in September 2018 by Senators Bennet, Cassidy, Young, Carper, Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and former Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO). The draft bill was intended to jumpstart discussions in Congress about how to best stop the use of balanced billing to charge patients for emergency treatment or treatment provided by an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility.

“As we continue our bipartisan effort to lower health care costs and improve price transparency, we seek more detailed information in addition to what we have received thus far,” the senators wrote. “Surprise medical billing is a complex problem, and crafting bipartisan, effective legislation to address it will require greater engagement from the private sector. We want to protect patients from costly surprise bills while preventing undue disruption in the health care system. To meet this goal, it is critical that we receive additional data and more complete feedback in order to refine and inform our legislative proposal.”

“Increasing transparency is one of the most important steps we must take to improve our health care system,” Bennet said. “Patients deserve to know how much they are paying for health care services and procedures at the point of care. I’ll keep working with my colleagues to develop bipartisan legislation that lowers costs and improves patient care.”

A copy of the letter is available HERE.