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News from the American College of Surgeons

For Immediate Release


Christian Shalgian

American College of Surgeons applauds Ruiz/Roe legislative framework to address surprise medical bills

Proposed framework includes an effective and fair independent dispute resolution process, and is a positive step forward in resolving the issue.

WASHINGTON, DC (May 23, 2019): Today, Representatives Raul Ruiz, MD (D-CA), Phil Roe, MD (R-TN), Joseph Morelle (D-NY), Van Taylor (R-TX), Ami Bera, MD (D-CA), Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN), Donna Shalala (D-FL), and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) released an outline of the bipartisan Protecting People from Surprise Medical Bills Act. The forthcoming legislation will protect patients from unfair and expensive surprise medical bills. The American College of Surgeons (ACS) supports this framework and looks forward to working with the bill’s sponsors as they finalize legislative language in the coming weeks.

“ACS is concerned about the impact that surprise medical bills have on patients and their families. We applaud this bipartisan proposal that protects patients and brings all parties to the table to remedy this complex issue,” said David B. Hoyt, MD, FACS, ACS Executive Director. 

The framework released today is modeled after an effective state law in New York and includes a fair independent dispute resolution (IDR) process.

ACS is also encouraged by aspects of the bill that mention accurate provider directories, greater transparency for patients of their existing network, and a portion addressing a study that examines the narrowing of networks.

This proposal strikes a careful balance, allowing physician and insurer to negotiate a final payment while completely protecting patients from unanticipated medical bills. ACS looks forward to continuing to work with these members of Congress as further details to address this issue come together over the coming weeks.

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About the American College of Surgeons
The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational organization of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to raise the standards of surgical practice and improve the quality of care for surgical patients. The College is dedicated to the ethical and competent practice of surgery. Its achievements have significantly influenced the course of scientific surgery in America and have established it as an important advocate for all surgical patients. The College has more than 82,000 members and is the largest organization of surgeons in the world. For more information, visit