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McSally Backs Bipartisan Bill to End Surprise Medical Billing

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) announced her support today for bipartisan legislation to end surprise medical billing. The bipartisan STOP Surprise Medical Bills Act, sponsored by Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), would protect patients from surprise medical bills by placing the responsibility for resolving medical bill discrepancies on the health care provider and the insurance company, rather than the patient.

“Arizonans are being overwhelmed with costly medical bills, often long after a medical emergency or treatment is over,” McSally said. “Despite thorough planning, patients often receive bills with thousands of dollars in unexpected fees. One Arizonan told me that she was forced to sell her home after receiving an outrageous surprise medical bill. This is unacceptable. I am supporting Senator Cassidy’s bipartisan bill to increase transparency and ensure any discrepancies are shouldered by providers and insurers—not patients.”

“Congress must protect patients from unfair surprise medical bills. Nearly one-third of the Senate has cosponsored the STOP Act. I welcome Sen. McSally to our bipartisan coalition to lower health care costs for American families,” said Dr. Cassidy.

Bill text can be found HERE. The Cassidy press release can be found HERE.

The STOP Surprise Medical Billing Act would address three scenarios in which surprise medical billing (also known as “balance billing”) would be prohibited: 

  • Emergency services: The bill would ensure that a patient is only required to pay the in-network cost-sharing amount required by their health plan for emergency services, regardless of them being treated at an out-of-network facility or by an out-of-network provider.
  • Non-Emergency services following an emergency service at an out-of-network facility: The bill would protect patients who require additional health care services after receiving emergency care at an out-of-network facility, but cannot be moved without medical transport from the out-of-network facility.
  • Non-Emergency services performed by an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility: The bill would ensure that patients owe no more than their in-network cost sharing in the case of a non-emergency service that is provided by an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility. Further, patients could not receive a surprise medical bill for services that are ordered by an in-network provider at a provider’s office, but are provided by an out-of-network provider, such as out-of-network laboratory or imaging services.

McSally is committed to working across the aisle to deliver low-cost health care solutions for Arizona families.

On February 10, McSally announced her support for bipartisan legislation to lower prescription drug prices.

On February 4, called for strengthening Medicare Advantage plans for Arizona seniors.

2019:

On December 19, McSally delivered major health care wins for Arizona in a year-end funding package that passed the U.S. Senate. 

On December 10, McSally sent a letter to Senate leadership urging them to extend the medical expense deduction in any end-of-year funding package.

On December 9, McSally introduced legislation to delay Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments for two years. DSH payments go to eligible hospitals that serve a disproportionate share of low-income patients with special needs, including children, seniors and the disabled. 

On October 21, McSally sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) and Minority Leader Charles Schumer (NY) urging long-term funding of community health centers (CHCs).

On September 17, McSally sent a bipartisan letter with members of the Arizona Congressional Delegation urging Congressional leaders to permanently repeal the medical device tax.

On June 19, McSally pressed the Center for Medicare for real-time transparency to prescription drug prices to help Arizonans see and compare drug prices before they buy medications.

On February 28, McSally joined a letter to Senate leaders urging a repeal of the Health Insurance Tax.

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All Information was gathered from publicly available US Government releases. "§105. Subject matter of copyright: United States Government works Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise. ( Pub. L. 94–553, title I, §101, Oct. 19, 1976, 90 Stat. 2546 .)" http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?req=(title:17%20section:105%20edition:prelim)