More evidence is piling up that when doctors and insurers sit at a table with a third-party arbiter to solve billing disputes, the outcome could benefit the doctors.

Driving the news: 2 new government reports show how arbitration, one of the solutions being considered by Congress, works in theory and in the real world.

  • New York created an arbitration process a few years ago, and doctors on average have been paid well above 80% of their billed charges in emergencies, according to an analysis of the state's report by Loren Adler of the Brookings Institution and the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative. Charges are made-up figures with no relation to costs or quality.
  • Separately, creating a federal arbitration process "would be likely to result in larger payment rates to providers," especially for doctors who are already paid at higher-than-average rates, the wonks at the Congressional Budget Office said.

The bottom line: Washington has not settled on a single surprise billing solution. It’s not difficult to see why providers are pushing for a process that pays them many multiples above Medicare and average in-network rates.

Go deeper: Hospitals' dog in the surprise billing fight

Go deeper

Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 12,607,510 — Total deaths: 562,338 — Total recoveries — 6,948,863Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 3,228,884 — Total deaths: 134,600 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,919,421Map.
  3. Public health: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: "Please wear a mask to save lives" Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. Sports: Charge of "money grab" by college football.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.