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Quagmire Awaits Doctors, Insurers in Surprise Billing Disputes

March 4, 2021, 10:31 AM

Doctors, hospitals, and health insurers in surprise medical bill disputes will face dual arbitration systems with conflicting requirements once a new federal law goes into effect.

Unless states undergo the arduous process of changing their own hard-fought surprise billing laws, insurers, doctors, hospitals, and employers will have to navigate a confusing array of requirements for resolving disputes. Surprise bills can run in the tens of thousands of dollars for out-of-network anesthesiologists and other physicians whom patients may find themselves treated by at in-network hospitals.

Without reconciling differing state and federal laws, “It’s going to be a bureaucratic nightmare,” ...