top of page
Doctor with Computer

No Surprises Act - Good Faith Estimates

No Surprises Act - Good Faith Estimates

January 1, 2022, the Federal No Surprises Act became law.  The goal of this legislation is to place requirements on health insurers and health care providers that are designed to protect consumers in surprise billing situations. “Surprise Billing” refers to large, unexpected bills charged to patients by out-of-network providers that may be seeing patients at an in-network facility.  

This act refers to two types of situations in which the patient has little to no control over whether they are treated by an out-of-network provider:


  • Emergencies. The general rule is to go to the closest emergency room. This may or may not be in-network, and it may or may not have out-of-network providers caring for patients. But the patient is not in a position to determine whether the care they’re receiving is in-network. Under the No Surprises Act, the consumer protections also extend to hospitalization immediately following emergency room care, until the patient can safely be transferred to an in-network facility.

  • Non-emergency situations in which the patient goes to an in-network hospital but is unknowingly treated by an out-of-network provider. For example, you might choose an in-network hospital for your planned surgery, but not realize that the radiologist or anesthesiologist or assistant surgeon isn’t in your insurance network. In some cases, you might never interact with this provider at all.


The No Surprises Act does not apply to situations in which a patient chooses to use an out-of-network provider (as opposed to situations in which the patient had no choice or was unknowingly treated by an out-of-network provider at an in-network facility).  So if a patient goes to an out-of-network facility or doctor in a non-emergency situation, balance billing can still be expected, and an insurance carrier's normal rules for out-of-network coverage would still be used.

In limited non-emergency situations, out-of-network medical providers can ask patients to waive their rights under the No Surprises Act.  In that case, if the patient signs a form indicating that they agree to the out-of-network charges, they can still receive a balance bill.  And the out-of-network medical provider can refuse to provide treatment if patients don’t waive their balance billing protections.

So how does this act affect the group and practice?

  • It applies to all patients who do not have insurance

  • Groups need to provide patients with an upfront estimate of how much you believe the services being rendered by the provider will cost

  • It gives your patients the ability to easily dispute medical bills

What do we need to do to be compliant with the No Surprises Act?

In order for groups to avoid penalties and fines, your organization will need to roll out a process and a workflow to provide good faith estimates to your patient population.  A Good Faith Estimate should contain:

  • The patient’s name and date of birth

  • Description of service(s) and diagnosis codes

  • Payment rates for each item of service

  • Frequency of visits

  • Diagnosis – You can put “Unknown” if you haven’t seen the client yet. Then, issue a replacement GFE with the correct diagnosis after the first appointment

  • Your name, National Provider Identifier, Tax Identification Number (TIN), and the state(s) and office or facility location(s) where you will provide the services

  • Disclaimer 1 – You need to put a statement on your GFE declaring that it’s only an estimate, not a contract, and doesn’t include unexpected costs 

  • Disclaimer 2 – This disclaimer lets your clients know that they can dispute a bill if it exceeds the GFE by at least $400

Let’s Work Together

To learn more about how our organization can help you develop a No Surprises Act workflow/process for Good Faith Estimates, contact us today.

1452 US-1

Ormond Beach, FL 32174

  • Apple Music
  • Spotify
  • LinkedIn

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page