Bret Jackson on Congress' Attempt to Curb Surprise Medical Billing
Attempts to curb surprise medical may still result in patients getting costs elsewhere, said Bret Jackson, president of the Economic Alliance for Michigan.
What is your view on the bill in Congress to reduce healthcare costs and how it approaches surprise medical billing?
So, the debate in Washington is whether or not we’re going to have a Medicare-plus rate to reimburse on surprise bills, or are we going to go into arbitration. And, I think what arbitration does is really codify the practice of surprise billing, which is a way around provider agreements. Instead of patients being able to really see relief, while the bill may relieve the patients upfront, they’re going to get the [charges] in added premiums, increased deductibles, increased co-pays; so, ultimately, a patient is going to pay for a surprise bill.
We would rather see Congress act on policies that allow for a long-term, stable arrangement between providers and insurance companies, rather than have a system where an arbitrator picks one price versus the other.