On Feb. 8, the Biden administration delayed implementation of the final rule, Modification of Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions (H-1B Selection Final Rule), until Dec. 31. The AMA submitted comments (PDF) opposing the proposed rule on the grounds that a wage-based system would harm access to health care for rural and underserved communities, favoring instead to keep the current random selection process. The AMA also told the Biden Transition Team that this regulation was problematic.

Without the delay, the final rule would have gone into effect on March 9, 60 days following its Jan. 8 publication in the Federal Register. The Department of Homeland Security is accepting comments on the delay, including any concerns associated with implementation of the Final Rule, until March 10. The AMA will submit comments.

The AMA has created an initial guide (PDF) to the major provisions in the “No Surprises Act,” the surprise billing legislation that was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act COVID-19 relief bill signed into law on Dec. 27. The No Surprises Act allows for price transparency, provider directories and patient financial protections that impact health plans, physicians, facilities and other non-MD/DO licensed health care professionals. The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. The intent of the law is not to preempt state surprise billing laws. However, there is some ambiguity in the statutory language that will require further clarification before and during the rulemaking process, including when the surprise billing protections apply to patients in self-funded ERISA plans. The AMA will work with Federation members and other stakeholders to seek clarification to address these ambiguities and will revise this guide accordingly as new information becomes available.

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