The No Surprises Act (Section 115)

Section 115 of The No Surprises Act (State All Payer Claims Databases)

Recording - January 11, 2021 video conference

NAHDO slides for January 11, 2021 meeting

Freedman HealthCare Slides for January 11, 2021 meeting

History of NAHDO Involvement of Federal Legislation

  • 2016 - Comments to DOL NPRM Form 5500 and Schedule J
  • 2017 - Outreach to DOL
  • 2018 - Bipartisan Senate "Healthcare Transparency Initiative" Invited Comments and Comments on "Protecting Patients from Surprise Medical Bills Act"
  • 2019 - Discussions and meetings with Senate HELP Committee and Comments on Lower Health Care Costs Act
  • 2020 - Continued discussions on Lowering Health Care Costs Act and other legislative activity; Section 115 of the No Surprises Act
  • 2016-Present - Development, publication and maintenance of the APCD-CDL™

Summary of Key Provisions of Section 115

Subsection (a) relating to the Department of Health and Human Services

  • Grant Program
    • Grants to states to establish or improve a “State All Payer Claims Database”
    • Eligibility based on an application that at least specifies how the State will ensure 1) uniform data collection and 2) the privacy and security of such data
    • Grants are for 3 years, $1M in the first two years, followed by $0.5M in the third year
  • Expectations of Grant Recipients - Authorized Use
    • Entities wishing to use the data may submit a request for data directly to states funded under this program for research purposes, quality improvement, or cost containment
    • Authorized users will be prohibited from attempting to reidentify and disclose protected data
    • Employers may request customized reports at cost
    • Grant-funded states shall make aggregate data publicly available free of charge
    • Secretary of HHS may waive requirements if the State APCD is substantially in compliance
  • Expectations of Grant Recipients - Expand Access
    • Secretary may prioritize applications that establish a single application for data from multiple states
    • Secretary may prioritize applications that will implement the Secretary of Labor’s reporting format for self-funded data

Subsection (b) Standardized Reporting Format (Department of Labor)

  • Standardized Reporting Format and Guidance
    • The Secretary of Labor shall establish and periodically update a standardized reporting format for the voluntary reporting of data to State APCDs by group health plans
    • The Secretary of Labor shall provide guidance to States on how to collect such data in the standardized format
  • The Advisory Committee Qualifications
    • Distinguished themselves in health services research, health economics, health informatics, data privacy and security, State APCD governance, or 
    • Represent organizations likely to submit or use APCD data – patients, group health plan sponsors, health care providers, insurers or third-party administrators 
    • Serve three-year staggered terms (or until sunsetted)
    • Report (due within 180 days) – Recommendations on the establishment of the format and guidance
  • The Advisory Committee Composition
    • Secretary of Labor to appoint nine members:
      • Assistant Secretary of Employee Benefits and Security Administration
      • Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (Health and Human Services)
      • In consultation with Secretary of HHS:
        The Committee Chair, CMS, AHRQ, OCR (data privacy and security), NCHS, ONC, a representative of a State APCD
    • The Comptroller General (GAO) to appoint six members:
      • Employer, Employee Organization, Academic Researcher, Consumer Advocate, Two additional members

Full Text of the Law

Nomination Process for Advisory Committe