July 17, 2019

ACR Applauds Inclusion of IDR Provisions in Surprise Billing Legislation

The American College of Radiology (ACR) appreciates lawmakers on the Energy and Commerce Committee acknowledging the importance of an independent dispute resolution (IDR) as a mechanism to resolve the issue of surprise medical billing through its inclusion of legislative language in H.R. 2328, the REACH Act. Chairman Pallone and Ranking Member Walden’s support of a bipartisan amendment by Reps. Ruiz and Bucshon to include a limited IDR process represents a critical step towards establishing an equitable solution for this critical issue.

Above all, the ACR remains committed to protecting patients from surprise medical bills. As the issue of surprise billing advances through Congress, the College will continue to educate lawmakers regarding the pitfalls of inclusion of any policies that will result in federal government rate-setting in the private market, while simultaneously limiting a physician’s ability to seek an equitable payment adjustment via an IDR process.

As amended, H.R. 2328 provides out-of-network physicians the opportunity to initiate IDR for in-network claims greater than $1,250. While the inclusion of any IDR mechanism is a step in the right direction, the ACR will continue to explore other opportunities during the legislative process to lower the claim threshold to ensure a broad subset of physician specialists are able to utilize this critical process.

The ACR looks forward to working with lawmakers in a bipartisan and bicameral fashion to secure additional improvements to this critical legislation.