Johnson-Backed Surprise Medical Billing Proposal Advances

December 15, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – On Friday evening, a bipartisan, bicameral surprise billing agreement was announced by the House Ways and Means Committee, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Education and Labor Committee, and the Senate Health Committee. Surprise billing has been a priority of U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) during his first term and this package will be included in an end of year omnibus bill.

Surprise medical billing occurs when a person receives an unexpectedly high medical bill as a result of being out-of-network, this usually occurs in emergency situations. 

The Consumer Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills Act, a Johnson-cosponsored bill, passed out of the Ways and Means Committee in February. Many provisions of this bill were included in the proposal. This legislation protects patients from unexpected medical bills for out-of-network services. Rather than establish a federal rate setting system, it would allow providers and insurance companies to resolve payments through arbitration.

“Our medical system will be fairer because of this package,” said Johnson. “We need to continue to protect the patient from surprise medical bills. Transparency is key and that’s what this package will do for both the patient and the provider. I’m encouraged after nearly two years of debate, we were able to get something done for Americans.”