The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) is slated to consider a DRAFT bill, entitled the “Lower Health Care Costs Act” this Wednesday, June 26. We are calling on ALL members to contact the Committee and let them know you OPPOSE this legislation. We are collaborating with the AMA and several other physician specialty societies in this call to action.
The stated purpose of this bill is to provide consumer protections against unreasonable out-of-pocket costs when they receive care from an out-of-network provider.
The Advocacy Council supports efforts to protect or limit patient exposure to unreasonable out-of-pocket expenses, particularly when they do not have the chance to go to an in-network physician. Unfortunately, although the bill is well intended, the effect of the legislation to be considered by the HELP Committee will be to grossly distort and disrupt the necessary negotiations for fair payment that must occur between physicians and health plans.
The Advocacy Council believes enactment of this legislation will encourage health plans to limit physician networks (including an adequate number of allergy/immunology (A/I) physicians) even more than we’ve seen to date. This position was shared with the Committee leadership in a letter outlining our concerns.
If you are from a state whose Senator serves on the HELP Committee, your communication can be even more important.
This link, provided by the AMA, will allow you to email your concerns to your Senator (if he/she is on the Committee) or the Committee leadership if your Senator is not on the Committee. There is a prewritten message available, but we also encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to add a personalized touch to your message, including that you are an allergist.
Your help in this campaign is greatly appreciated.