On Sept. 22, the American Hospital Association (AHA) and American Medical Association (AMA) announced they are filing an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit filed by the Texas Medical Association (TMA) challenging the final rule of the No Surprises Act (NSA) issued by the federal government in August 2022.
Previously, on Sept. 20, the associations moved to dismiss their challenge to the federal government’s September 2021 interim final rule governing the NSA payment determinations under the Federal Independent Dispute Resolution process. The lawsuit became moot when the administration released a revised final rule on Aug. 26, but the AHA and AMA said they remained concerned that the final rule continues to favor insurers.
The TMA filed its lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, saying that the August final regulation unjustly skews arbitration decisions in favor of commercial insurers, standing in violation of the NSA agreement approved by Congress. In essence, the TMA argues that the final rule will be detrimental to patients and health care providers.
“The Texas court previously held that the interim final rule impermissibly rewrote clear statutory terms by placing a thumb on the scale in favor of commercial insurers. The final rule suffers from the same problems,” the AHA and AMA said in a joint statement. “As was the case with the previous suit, the AHA and AMA want to see the law’s core patient protections move forward and seek only to bring the regulations in line with the law. We look forward to supporting the Texas Medical Association’s efforts to restore the balanced, patient-friendly approach that Congress passed and the AHA and AMA supported.”