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Arbitration is not the Answer; Midwest Business Group on Health Urges Congress to Solve Surprise Medical Billing Crisis

By MBGH Information posted 13 days ago



CHICAGO – Feb. 11, 2020 – This is a critical week for the millions of Americans still receiving bankrupting surprise medical bills and the employers who sponsor health benefits for their workers and families. The Midwest Business Group on Health, a non-profit coalition of employers representing almost 5 million lives and spending over $11 billion on health care each year, urges legislators to advance a fair, reasonable, local market-based approach to resolve billing disputes.

The “Consumer Protections Against Surprise Medical Bills Act of 2020” relies solely on arbitration and does not offer a viable solution to solve surprise medical billing for patients and employers. In addition, one proposal significantly limits the benefits of fair, market-based rates by encouraging those specialists who charge the highest fees to recoup their costs through arbitration.

“While we were encouraged about the progress being made related to health reform that would offer much needed protection for patients and employers, these latest proposals will provide no relief and could even make things worse,” said Cheryl Larson, MBGH president and CEO.

Michael Thompson, president and CEO of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, of which MBGH is a member added, “Arbitration does nothing to stem the tide of ‘blank check’ pricing by healthcare providers. It puts patients in the middle when they are at their most vulnerable and relies on employers to clean up the mess.”

MBGH will continue to work with stakeholders including the Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing and National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions to realize a solution that protects patients from financial harm and establishes a mechanism to prevent runaway healthcare costs for employers.


About the Midwest Business Group on Health

MBGH is one of the nation’s leading non-profit employer coalitions of 130 mid, large and jumbo self-funded public and private employers, representing almost 5 million lives and annually spending over $11 billion on health care. Members consist of leading health benefit professionals, with activities focused on education, research, benchmarking and community-based initiatives that increase the value of health benefits and health care services. MBGH is a founding member of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Cary Conway