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ACEP and ASA Response to Senate HELP Proposal on Surprise Billing
May 24, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC -  In a joint statement responding to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee's recently proposed draft "Lower Health Costs Act," Vidor Friedman, MD, FACEP, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and Linda Mason, MD, FASA, president of American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), said: 

"We appreciate the Senate HELP Committee’s attention to the issue of health care costs, and we share in the common goal of protecting patients from unanticipated medical bills. Though well-intentioned, each of the surprise billing policy options offered in the Committee’s draft “Lower Health Care Costs Act” would dramatically disrupt the health care system and significantly distort negotiations between insurers and providers. 

Among the different surprise billing proposals that have been offered in the Senate, we believe the “STOP Surprise Medical Bills Act” put forward by Senator Cassidy and the Bipartisan Price Transparency Working Group provides the best starting point to take patients out of the middle of billing disputes and establish a fair, efficient process to resolve differences between insurers and providers. 

While improvements can still be made, we believe the framework offered by Senator Cassidy should serve as the foundation of the Senate’s ongoing efforts to protect patients from surprise medical bills, and we encourage the HELP Committee and the Senate to build upon this bipartisan legislative proposal."

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and a Government Services Chapter, which represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies. 

The American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Founded in 1905, ASA is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 53,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring that physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during, and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care that every patient deserves.

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For further information: Maggie McGillick | 202.370.9290 | mmcgillick@acep.org