AMA, AHA urge federal judge to strike down No Surprises Act arbitration provision 

The American Hospital Association and American Medical Association are urging the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to strike down a provision of the No Surprises Act related to an arbitration process between payers and providers.

The No Surprises Act went into effect in January, and a federal judge in Texas struck down the arbitration provision in February, citing a conflict with the original law, according to an April 5 press release.

"The Departments have neither acquiesced to the decision of the Eastern District of Texas vacating portions of the September rule, nor suggested any intent to abandon their interpretation of the No Surprises Act in any final rule," the AHA and AMA said in a court brief filed April 4. "A decision from this Court can put an end to the government's illegal interpretation once and for all. As such, Plaintiffs respectfully ask the Court to act as soon as practicable."

The federal government told the court April 4 it expects a final ruling by early summer.

The arbitration provision provides an internal resolution process to resolve payment rate disputes between payers and providers. Arbitrators must select the rate offer closest to the qualifying payment amount. The amount is set by the payer, giving an unfair advantage, according to the original lawsuit filed in December.

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