By now you have probably heard about the No Surprise Medical act that was passed in December 2020 and takes effect January 1, 2022. It is intended to protect patients from receiving bills from Out of Network providers while seen at in-network facilities. It would limit the patients out of pocket charge to the in network median rate.
The health plan has 30-days from receiving the claim to negotiate a payment rate. The provider then has 4 days from the time of receiving the payment to file an independent dispute resolution process to determine a different payment amount. This will then go to arbitration and the arbiter will look at several different factors - the providers expertise, the median in-network rate and complexity of the service provided.
There are separate rules if the patients health plan is a Federal plan, is in a different state than the provider is or if they have paid the payment to the patients already? It is very confusing. The exact policies are still being defined:
We met an attorney at the HBMA conference in September and he specializes in fighting the insurance companies for the low payments that are sometimes made. We will keep you posted if we see any out-of-network payments made for patients seen at in-network facilities.