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The AAHAM Legislative Currents are hosted here.  In order to read them, you will need to be logged in.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Senate Surprise Billing Legislation Saves $7.6 Billion

The Senate HELP Committee's bipartisan bill to clamp down on health costs would save the government nearly $7.6 billion over 10 years, according to a CBO analysis released today.

The provision ending surprise medical bills by instituting a federal benchmark payment would save nearly $24.8 billion over that period, offsetting new spending in the bill that is mostly for public health programs.

Congressional scorekeepers estimate that premiums for private health insurance would be about 1 percent lower if the surprise medical bill provisions are enacted. The bill resolves payment disputes by paying plans and providers at a federal benchmark set to the median in-network rate for each area of the country. The CBO scorekeepers project that would mean payments to providers, both inside and outside of networks, would "converge" around median in-network rates.

One uncertainty flagged in the report is the extent to which the legislation would shift costs in a way that could lead to consolidation of providers.

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