The No Surprises Act — which takes effect January 1 — “generally forbids insurers from dropping surprise bills on patients and, instead, requires health care providers and insurers to work out a deal between themselves,” according to an article on NPR.com.
An Update on the Surprise Medical Bill Ban
This new update suggests that in 2022 medical providers must inform the patient at least 72 hours in advance if their bill won’t be fully covered by their insurance plan. Although some procedures and individuals will be fully covered, some are not. Therefore, that is when The No Surprises Act kicks in.
What You Need to Know
These strict guidelines will likely be a burden on healthcare facilities, especially in the administrative and billing departments. This is due to each and every physician having their own operating procedures, which means that some patients might have less than a 72-hour window to book and have their treatment. Therefore, the 72 hours notice might not be feasible, which will cause legal issues with the patient, practice, and admin team.
Should someone need emergency medical treatment, this will not cover the 72-hour time period that is necessary to let patients know about surprise bills. Therefore, there is a discussion of practices voluntarily waiving the bills in good faith.
Next Steps for Medical Billing
The update involves suggesting medical practices should also be more transparent about their costs to avoid confusion. This will help patients and the administrative team overcome hurdles sooner and patients can know what to expect instead of having to wait and potentially reschedule their treatment.
Navigating these new guidelines can also be made easier by outsourcing your medical billing.