As previously reported, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) filed a series of lawsuits over the rules implemented by the Departments under the No Surprises Act. On August 3, 2023, Judge Kernodle, US District Court of Eastern Texas, ruled in favor of the TMA vacating certain portions of the No Surprises Act final rule. This lawsuit was the fourth in the series filed by the TMA challenging the 600% increase in the administrative filing fees from $50 to $350 for initiating the independent dispute resolution (IDR) process and the Departments’ rule making that makes it difficult to “batch” related claims for resolution in a single arbitration proceeding.
The court found that the fee increase and the batching rule violated the notice and consent requirements, wherein generally the agencies must first publish a “notice of proposed rulemaking and give interested persons an opportunity to participate”, and ordered that these provisions be vacated. In light of the court’s decision, the government has temporarily paused the certain parts of the federal arbitration process until further guidance can be issued. Notwithstanding, the court did not find that a refund of the $350 administrative fees previously paid are due.
Our firm will continue to monitor the actions and subsequent guidance on these matters and other ongoing legal proceedings related to the No Surprises Act.