American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

ACS Supports Legislation to Help Level Negotiating Playing Field for Physicians

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) February 12 sent a letter of support for the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act, S. 350, to Sens. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT). This legislation would repeal the antitrust exemptions for the health insurance industry under the McCarran-Ferguson Act of 1945.

Although insurers are still subject to antitrust enforcement involving mergers and acquisitions, the current federal antitrust exemption allows insurers to meet, share information, and agree on pricing for premiums. As a result, physicians frequently are placed in positions of diminished negotiating strength, and health plans can impose unilateral, non-negotiable contracts. From the College’s perspective, the Competitive Health Insurance Reform Act is an important step forward in helping to level the negotiation playing field between providers and health plans. 

A full copy of the letter is available here. For more information on this topic, contact Carrie Zlatos, ACS Senior Congressional Lobbyist, at czlatos@facs.org.