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No Surprises Act
The No Surprises Act (NSA) prohibits balance billing insured patients who receive emergency or non-emergency services from out-of-network providers at in-network facilities for amounts greater than the patient’s in-network cost-sharing requirement for such services. The NSA also establishes a payment dispute resolution process and requirements to provide good faith estimates to uninsured or self-pay patients. (Note: This rule applies to private pay patients because Medicare and Medicaid already have protections against surprise billing.)
- Good Faith Estimates and Dispute Resolution for Providers and Facilities
- Uninsured or Self-Pay Individuals
- These FAQs from CMS provide more clarification regarding Good Faith Estimates (GFE) for uninsured and self-pay individuals.
- When a patient starts payment dispute regulation (Note: Some aspects of the Independent Dispute Resolution process have changed due to a February 23, 2022, court ruling. This guidance will be updated by CMS soon. See additional details.)
- Administrative Fees
AMA Surprise Billing Toolkit - This toolkit can help practices understand and comply with the No Surprises Act, including responsibilities for preparing Good Faith Estimates for self-pay and uninsured patients.
Health plans also have obligations under this rule, particularly with respect to keeping provider directories current. CAQH offers a 2-page summary of those requirements.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reminds debt collectors and credit bureaus not to collect on medical bills protected under the No Surprises Act.
Enforcement Letters - CMS has published letters to help determine which surprise billing requirements are enforceable by each state or territory and which requirements CMS will enforce.