WASHINGTON, D.C. – Jane Sheehan, Director of Federal Relations at Families USA, issued the following statement after a federal court in Texas struck down part of the federal law banning surprise medical bills:

“The decision in Texas Medical Association v. the United States Department of Health and Human Services is extremely disappointing and puts the interests of some select providers and their private equity allies over those of patients, consumers and families. By removing important guardrails from the payment dispute resolution (IDR) process, it increases the risk that providers will try to obtain higher, inflated rates, leading to increased health care costs and higher premiums for consumers.

“The No Surprises Act is a landmark law that protects people from egregious provider payment abuses, while ensuring fair payment for health care services. This lawsuit was a clear attempt to water down the law and chip away at the critical protections it provides for so many families who have been devastated by a surprise bill. We’re still evaluating the full impact on families across the country, and while patients will maintain the hard-fought protections from out-of-network balance bills, this decision will likely cause higher premiums down the line.

“At Families USA Action, we believe that no one in America should face financial ruin simply because they received care at a hospital that wasn’t in their insurance network. We will continue to work with stakeholders and the Biden administration to put patients’ rights over industry profits, and ensure the law works, as intended, to fully protect patients and their families from unfair, surprise medical bills and related increased costs.”