December 22, 2021

ACR Files No Surprises Act Lawsuit to Protect Patient Care

Suit to correct Surprise Billing Final Rule implementation


The conscious decision by the White House to ignore the specific legislative language and intent of the “No Surprises Act” as the new law is implemented has empowered insurers to drastically cut reimbursement, narrow medical networks and restrict patient access to their chosen providers — including radiologists. To draw attention away from this devastating impact, the government is attempting to financially pit providers against patients, which can only further harm the healthcare system and the doctor-patient relationship.

As the regulation that could allow this negative impact is set to take effect Jan. 1, the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) has no option but to represent our members and their patients by joining the American College of Emergency Physicians and American Society of Anesthesiologists in a lawsuit against the federal government to block parts of this implementation.

Although the "No Surprises Act" was intended to resolve provider-insurer out of network care billing disputes in a balanced manner, with patients held harmless, the Surprise Billing Interim Final Rule has fueled an insurer profit grab that negatively affects all care — in and out of network. The impact may be particularly hard felt in rural and underserved communities.

This lawsuit does not impact the “No Surprises Act” protections to hold patients harmless during insurer-provider payment disputes and will not increase patient out-of-pocket costs. It will only attempt to force the government agencies to align the inaccurate regulation with the congressional intent of the law prior to Jan. 1.

The College will continue to update members regarding the lawsuit and related legislative efforts to protect patient access to lifesaving radiological, emergency and anesthesia care.

More information about the lawsuit is available on the ACR website.