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Labor Official Defends Embattled Surprise Billing Rule

Nov. 10, 2021, 11:15 PM

A Department of Labor official Wednesday defended a proposed rule pegging surprise billing payments to contract rates that has spawned lawsuits and complaints that it will result in inadequate payments to health-care providers.

“Obviously we did take an approach in the interim final rule that wasn’t an accident. We’ve been thinking about this issue a lot, and it was a deliberate decision,” Ali Khawar, assistant secretary of the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, said in a webinar sponsored by the Council for Affordable Health Coverage (CAHC). The CAHC represents a range of health-care industries.

Khawar made the comment following numerous ...