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Doggett Efforts to Protect Patients from Surprise Medical Bills & Ensure Private Equity Transparency Advance in Committee

February 12, 2020

***Press Release***

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 12, 2020

Contact: Kate Stotesbery

202-225-4865

 

Doggett Efforts to Protect Patients from Surprise Medical Bills & Ensure Private Equity Transparency Advance in Committee

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Chair of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee and the first congressional author of legislation to protect patients from surprise medical bills, offered amendments during today’s Ways and Means markup of surprise medical bill and private equity transparency legislation. His private equity amendment was formally adopted. The three amendments on the surprise billing legislation were favorably received and the Committee is working to incorporate the consumer protection issues Rep. Doggett raised into the final measure to be considered by the House. He also urged that the private equity bill be included in the final surprise billing legislation.

The Doggett amendment to the private equity bill closes a loophole and prevents private equity from gaming the bill’s requirements. The amendment would help ensure that a private equity backed-firm owning the assets of a medical provider will satisfy the ownership requirements that mandate transparency. In his remarks, Rep. Doggett said, “Despite a belated but growing consensus from both providers and insurers that surprise billing is wrong, consumers have been caught in the crossfire between providers and insurers here in Congress.” He continued, “The biggest obstacle to getting this Congress to provide consumers some relief has been fierce opposition by private equity firms that have been heavily investing in physician groups with the intent of driving up health care costs.”

Rep. Doggett Strikes the Last Word on Private Equity

Regarding H.R. 5826, the surprise medical bill legislation, Rep. Doggett offered three amendments:

  • An amendment on explanation of benefits that, among other actions, would ban insurers from retroactively reversing their commitment to cover a service.
  • An amendment that would limit arbiter conflicts of interest by adding reasonable eligibility criteria to the list already included in the Neal-Brady bill to make the process as fair to all parties as possible.
  • An amendment regarding delay in care, which would ensure that, if delaying already-scheduled care puts a patient at risk, the patient can still get care from that out-of-network doctor and are only required to pay what they would if that doctor was in-network.

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