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House committee floats new proposal to ban surprise medical billing

Illustration of a prescription paper being digitized.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The House Ways and Means Committee is considering banning surprise medical bills and forcing the administration to decide how providers get paid for out-of-network care, according to a letter sent by Chairman Richard Neal to Democratic members.

The big picture: Payment resolution has sparked an intense fighting among insurers, hospitals and doctors.

  • Instead of landing on one method, the proposal would have administrative agencies convene a committee with stakeholders before creating a regulatory solution.

What they're saying: In the letter, Neal said he's offered the approach — referred to as "negotiated rulemaking" — as a compromise to the panel's top Republican, Kevin Brady.

The bottom line: This approach would allow Congress to say it protected patients from surprise medical bills without having to side with one industry group over another.

Go deeper: How surprise billing proposals actually affect health care providers