The billing legislation would use a plan "favored by insurers because it relies on a benchmark payment rate before moving to arbitration for out-of-network charges," Cohen reports. "Hospitals and providers prefer surprise-billing fixes that rely more heavily on arbitration. . . . Lawmakers are presenting the measure as part of the bailout to hospitals," which "are going to have to make a choice," an unnamed insurance lobbyist told Cohen. "Do they defeat surprise billing or say we’re getting a lot here, let's not rock the boat too hard'?"
The surprise-billing measure "includes a benchmark payment rate to resolve air-ambulance payment disputes," Cohen notes. "Air ambulance providers have lobbied against the policy because they say it could lead to air bases closing in rural areas."