MSSNY Statement re: Surprise Bill Proposal

865 Merrick Avenue, Westbury, New York 11590-9007
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100


For Immediate Release
May 16, 2019

MSSNY Statement re: Surprise Bill Proposal

Statement attributable to:
Arthur Fougner, MD
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

“We appreciate the effort of the various Senators and Representatives who have advanced proposals to protect patients from surprise medical bills.  New York has been an innovator in this effort, and our 2014 law has become a model for the nation.  Indeed, the Georgetown University Health Policy Center released a report earlier this week that highlighted how our law has greatly reduced surprise billing complaints in New York while also being perceived as a fair approach by various health care stakeholders.

“While we are proud that aspects of our law have become a model for the proposal advanced by Senators Cassidy and Hassan, and its protection of state laws, we have serious concerns regarding the legislation’s suggested use of health insurer–dictated in network payments as a federal benchmark for resolving out of network payment disputes. This has serious potential to undermine New York’s law, which sought to achieve a critical balance among physicians, hospitals and health insurers, including assuring the availability of needed on-call specialty care in hospital emergency departments across the State.  When seconds count, this proposal could reduce specialized care availability for patients. Instead of insurer controlled data, New York uses a database for its benchmark for its baseball arbitration program that is independent of health insurer or provider control.

“Moreover, this proposal would even further empower market dominant insurance companies, who already have the power in many markets across the country, to foist ‘take it or leave it’ contracts on physicians that not only impact payments for care, but also many other patient care issues, such excessive prior authorization requirements, minimal prescription medication formularies, and narrow networks—all which limit patients’ timely access to care.

“Patients benefit most when physicians have the ability to fairly negotiate participation terms.   We urge our US Senators and Representatives to revise their surprise bill proposals to make them consistent with New York’s acclaimed approach.”

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About the Medical Society of the State of New York
Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state’s principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.


MSSNY Contact:
Roseann Raia
Communications / Marketing
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave.
Westbury, New York
516-488-6100 ext 302


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