Update: The No Surprises Act Is Harming Anesthesiologists

The No Surprises Act was designed to: 

  • Ban surprise bills for emergency services (whether services were provided “in” or “out” of network)
  • Ban out of network cost sharing for all emergency and some non-emergency services
  • Ban out of network charges and balance bills for supplemental care (i.e., anesthesia or radiology)
  • Require health care providers and facilities provide easy-to-understand notices explaining expense options and options to avoid balance bills

In August 2022, the No Surprises Act’s final rules entitled “Requirements Related to Surprise Billing: Final Rules” were issued. The initial Act’s provisions and those addressed in the Final Rules have created significant burden to an already strained health care delivery system. Provider reimbursement is being delayed by processes in the NSA and understanding how insurance carriers are calculating qualifying payment amounts (QPA) is difficult. 

This week, the American Society of Anesthesiologists reported that No Surprises Act is harming anesthesiologists and creating financial challenges for them. As such, the ASA has proposed a number of changes to the implementation of NSA via letter to CMS’s Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. Those changes are:

  • Auditing payer qualifying payer amounts
  • Lifting resolution dispute holds
  • Improving batch rules