The Lower Health Care Costs Act

The Lower Health Care Costs Act (LHCC) is a large package of health care legislation that the United States House of Representatives and Senate have prioritized for passage before the end of 2019. The legislation focuses on a broad range of health care policies - several components, highlighted below, directly impact ob-gyns and our patients. ACOG is dedicated to securing the best possible policies for ob-gyns and their patients.

Maternal Health and Eliminating Disparities

The Lower Health Care Costs Act contains multiple ACOG-supported policies aimed at ending preventable maternal mortality and morbidity in the United States, including federal authorization and funding of the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) program, increased access to maternity care in rural and underserved areas, support for perinatal quality collaboratives, and programs to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in maternal health. These policies are important next steps in our ongoing work to eliminate preventable maternal mortality.

ACOG has engaged in the following advocacy efforts to secure inclusion and bipartisan support of these priorities in the Lower Health Care Costs Act:

 

Protecting Ob-Gyns in Surprise Billing Package

ACOG is committed to ensuring that ob-gyns are fairly compensated and are able to provide the best and highest quality care to their patients. The Lower Health Care Costs Act includes language to protect patients from surprise medical bills. Surprise billing can occur when patients receive emergency care, or care from an out-of-network provider in an in-network setting, like an out-of-network anesthesiologist during childbirth. Ob-gyns are responsible for fewer than 1% of surprise medical bills and should not be penalized in any legislative solution. ACOG has long-advocated to ensure fair and favorable payment rates for ob-gyns. We wrote leaders in the House and Senate asking them to fix proposed surprise billing proposals to protect ob-gyns. Learn more about ACOG’s efforts to fight for equitable treatment of ob-gyns in the Lower Health Care Costs Act.

Other Items of Note

Other ACOG legislative priorities included in the Lower Health Care Costs Act:

  • Extends mandatory funding for the Teaching Health Centers Graduate Medical Education Program
  • Extends mandatory funding for the National Health Service Corps
  • Raises minimum age to purchase tobacco products to 21 and strengthens FDA regulations on electronic cigarettes.
  • Increases education of vaccine effectiveness to address vaccine hesitancy 

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188
Mailing Address: PO Box 96920, Washington, DC 20024-9998