Bipartisan Legislation Introduced on Accurate Provider Directories
On Sept. 27, Reps. Phil Roe (R-TN) and Kim Schrier (D-WA) introduced legislation to improve the accuracy of the information listed on health plans’ provider directories to prevent patients from receiving surprise out-of-network bills. The Improving Provider Directories Act (H.R. 4575) requires health plans to establish a process to address inaccurate information listed in publicly accessible provider directories. Monitor H.R. 4575 here.
Ways & Means Chair’s Surprise Billing Plan Directs Price Negotiations to HHS, Labor and Treasury
On Sept. 27, House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) proposed a surprise billing plan in a letter to Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) that gives responsibility for negotiated rulemaking to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Labor and the Department of Treasury. The agencies would set out-of-network payment rates and determine when to use arbitration. Then respective secretaries would propose a rule and ask for public comment. Rep. Neal said that the legislation would be worked on during the current two-week recess.
Grassley Warns Senate Finance Drug Pricing Package Could Face Delay Until 2020
On Sept. 27, Senate Finance Chair Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said there is a possibility that the drug pricing package introduced by Finance Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR), S. 2543, the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019, could be delayed from being considered on the Senate floor until next year. Without a vote on S. 2543 this year, the bill cannot be attached to the end-of-year appropriations bill. Find more details on S. 2543 here.
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