ACR praises amendment to surprise billing legislation

The American College of Radiology (ACR) released a statement July 18 applauding the inclusion of an independent dispute resolution (IDR) process in recent legislation to address surprise billing.

The amendment to HR 2328—added by Reps. Paul Ruiz (D-Calif.) and Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.)—allows out-of-network physicians to initiate IDR for in-network claims greater than $1,250, a “critical step” toward resolving the issue of surprise medical bills, according to the ACR.

On July 16, the ACR expressed “serious concerns” with the No Surprises Act, noting a lack of an IDR mechanism. More than 102 medical organizations signed a letter urging the Energy and Commerce Committee to include an IDR amendment.

“Above all, the ACR remains committed to protecting patients from surprise medical bills,” the July 18 statement read. “The ACR will continue working with lawmakers to add further improvement to the legislation.”

Some stakeholders, including the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP), argue many emergency services won’t qualify for IDR arbitration, claiming most cost less than $1,250.

“In order to ensure access to emergency care is protected, the qualifying threshold for using IDR must be lowered, or that process will remain out of reach on over 99% of the services provided by emergency physicians,” according to an ACEP statement. “We look forward to continuing to work with Congress on achieving a balanced approach.”