Top White House Policy Adviser Warns Hospitals on Surprise Medical Bills

The so-called “Surprise Medical Bills” have been growing and the legislation is taking action to protect patients from such bills.

White House Policy Adviser Warns Medical Bills

On Monday, a top White House official warned hospitals that they must start addressing the issue of surprise medical bills if they do not want Congress to do it for them.

Joe Grogan, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, said, “If hospitals, providers and issuers don’t protect these patients from financial harm, Congress and the administration will need to act.”

Grogan said it while speaking at the Federation of American Hospitals’ annual conference in Washington.

Calls for action have been taken against so-called surprise medical bills, which have been growing in recent times. And the legislation to protect patients from such medical bills is seen as a key area for bipartisan action on health care.

A group of Senators, including Bill Cassidy, Michael Bennet, and Maggie Hassan, has drafted a bipartisan bill. The group of senators has said they have been gathering feedback from industry groups.

What is a surprise medical bill? A bill that usually occurs when a patient gets a sizable bill after visits a hospital because they received treatment from a physician outside the patient’s insurance network.

Industry groups are chousing over the legislation to make sure they do not take a huge financial hit. The insurance companies are largely on one side, while the hospitals and physician are largely on the other.

Grogan explained that the administration has not yet come to a particular solution to the problem. However, he warned the legislation or administrative action will be worse if hospitals do not solve the issue by themselves. The White House official said, “You have to come up with a solution, or bad things could happen because you’ll have policymaking being made by people that don’t understand the system nearly as well as you.”