Trump Announces Plan to Combat Surprise Medical Billing

donald trump and american flag

donald trump and american flagIn a speech on May 9, 2019 President Donald Trump criticized the practice of surprise medical billing, and the president announced a general plan of attach and hinted at a few specific items for curbing the trend. This speech aligned with the administration’s American Patients first initiative which created a blueprint for lowering consumer health costs. President Trump covered four main regulatory aspects that would be tackled first to combat surprise medical billing. These included:


  • In emergency situations, patients shouldn’t have to “bear the burden” of out-of-network costs
  • Balanced billing should be prohibited for emergency care
  • For scheduled nonemergency care, patients should receive an “honest” bill up front – including an itemized list of out-of-pocket expenses the patient must cover
  • Patients should not receive a surprise bill from out-of-network providers they did not choose themselves

In addition to plan for surprise medical billing, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has moved for more drug price transparency. This move will help curb out-of-control prescription drug costs.

Drug companies will now be “…required to disclose to patients the list price for prescription drugs in TV ads,” according to the HHS. The HHS points out that the 10 most commonly advertised drugs range in price from several hundred to several thousands of dollars for a typical month of treatment.

With both of these announcements, it is clear President Trump and his administration are committed to lowering consumer health care costs through greater transparency. This means that employers should stay tuned for more news once the plans are fully laid out.