ACS CAN Comments on No Surprises Act Interim Final Rule

September 7, 2021

In these comments, ACS CAN strongly supports Congress’ and the Administration’s efforts to protect patients from surprise medical bills and we are encouraged by the important steps this interim final rule takes. Specifically, we applaud the Departments’ proposed policies related to:

  • Prohibiting surprise billing for emergency services, including post-stabilization services unless the patient is reasonably able to choose and travel to an in-network provider
  • Protecting patients from surprise bills who receive care from a facility via a single case agreement, which is a common method of securing necessary specialized care for cancer patients
  • Establishing strong enforcement mechanisms and a consumer-friendly complaints process to ensure these patient protections

We also encourage the Departments to go further in protecting patients by taking measures including:

  • Prohibiting all providers from balance billing patients at an in-network facility
  • Closing loopholes in the notice and consent provisions that allow certain providers to gain permission to send patients a balance bill in situations where the patient has not been given enough time or information to choose a different provider
  • Ensuring patients are not asked to waive their protections in a coercive manner, including after they have arrived at the facility to receive their scheduled service

ACS CAN believes the goal of the Departments should be to prevent as many surprise bills as possible from reaching patients or impacting their treatment, and the Departments should assume that the vast majority of individuals who understand their rights under the No Surprises Act will not want to waive them and be charged more for out-of-network care.