For the third time, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas ruled to set aside certain regulations implementing the No Surprises Act. The Texas Medical Association, joined by several air ambulance providers and supported by an amicus brief filed by the American Hospital Association, successfully argued that the methodology used to calculate the qualifying payment amount (QPA) favors insurers during the arbitration process.
The court specifically disallowed several regulatory provisions related to the QPA calculation, including those that could enable insurers to include in the calculation of QPAs contracted rates for services that providers have not provided, as well as allowing self-insured group health plans to use rates from all plans administered by a third-party administrator in calculating the QPA.
The federal agencies administering these regulations have not indicated how they will proceed in light of this ruling. Currently, the No Surprises Act arbitration process is on hold as a result of separate litigation challenging other aspects of the No Surprises Act regulations.