The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has been involved in congressional discussions to protect patients from out-of-network, or surprise billing, since early 2018 and has consistently supported a ban on balance billing of patients, as long as the mechanism ensures patient access to care won’t be compromised.
We have worked across the political aisle and across medical specialties to encourage lawmakers to pass the best possible solution for patients and providers. ACEP formed and continues to lead Out of the Middle, a consumer-focused campaign comprising the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Association of Neurological Surgeons and Congress of Neurological Surgeons, American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American College of Radiology, American Society of Anesthesiologists, College of American Pathologists, and the National Association of Spine Specialists.
The campaign enables patients and providers to send an email to Congress advocating for independent dispute resolution (IDR), ACEP’s preferred approach to solving payment disputes with insurers.
In addition, ACEP created www.ProtectEmergencyCare.org, an informational site for lawmakers, congressional staffers and other health care policy elite to better understand our preferred legislative approach and the unique position of emergency physicians. The website includes a variety of resources on IDR including a fact sheet, infographic and public opinion data.
While the campaigns are ongoing, we have reached more than 445,000 people and resulted in 8,350 emails to Congress.