HHS Interim Final Rule on Surprise Billing Goes Into Effect


On September 13, 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Interim Final Rule on the No Surprises Act went into effect. Surprise medical bills arise when patients visit a hospital or health care provider that they think is in their insurance network, but are then treated by a doctor, specialist, technician, or other health care provider who is out-of-network. The patient is then billed directly by the provider for an unexpectedly expensive out-of-network service. The interim final rule protects consumers by implementing the following protections:  

  • Banning surprise billing for emergency services,  
  • Banning out-of-network charges for ancillary care at an in-network facility,  
  • Banning non-emergency out-of-network charges without notice and consent from patients; and 
  • Requiring health plans to apply the same cost-sharing requirements to out-of-network services as in-network services in both emergency and non-emergency treatments.  

These requirements will apply to health plans beginning January 1, 2022. The full rule can be read here. To read the HHS fact sheet, click here. 





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