Kaitlin Howard

By Kaitlin Howard

Kaitlin Howard is a researcher and writer producing insightful content across the healthcare revenue cycle. She has written and produced content for Zelis, Waystar, and Recondo Technology, as well as agencies. With a B.A. in English and Writing from University of Denver, Kaitlin stays current on market updates on claims management and healthcare payments, publishing a regular educational blog series on industry trends and Zelis offerings.

The No Surprises Act (NSA), signed into law in December 2020, seeks to protect patients from surprise medical bills and prohibits balance billing for certain out-of-network care. The Transparency in Coverage Rule (TiC), published October 2020, provides consumers better insight into the cost of services before obtaining care and receiving a bill.

We know what you’re thinking. The deadline for compliance is rapidly approaching.

We’ve got your back.

With the goal of providing configurable solutions to manage savings, provider relationships, and compliance, Zelis has created and enhanced our suite of integrated solutions to help you comply with new regulations, improve members’ experience, maximize savings, and minimize provider abrasion.

We also provide legislative expertise and guidance to help plans manage the complexity introduced by both the NSA and TiC Rule.


And while these new requirements will add complexity to healthcare claim processing and administration, both pre- and post-service, the ruling’s most significant impact lies in two key areas: transparency and member engagement and out-of-network (OON) claim processing and payment.

The How Zelis Helps

Machine-Readable Files (MRFs)

Zelis Machine-Readable Files will address out-of-network (OON) MRF data requirements for Zelis-priced OON claims. We will also offer in-network (INN) MRF data with median INN rates for clients whose primary networks are owned or managed by Zelis.

ID Cards

Zelis Member ID will enable enhanced ID card capabilities to print compliant ID cards with additional required information including member deductible, out-of-pocket maximum, and information on where to find in-network providers.

Advanced Explanations of Benefits (AEOBs)

Zelis Member Communications will publish compliant AEOBs (both print and digital) with the ability to handle increased volume.

Provider Directories

Zelis will offer compliant directories for clients whose primary networks are owned or managed by Zelis.

Out-of-Network Claims Pricing with Median In-Network Rates

Zelis Market-Based Pricing offers payers a fully outsourced solution that meets No Surprises Act (NSA) compliance immediately upon implementation. Moreover, we provide the Qualifying Payment Amount (QPA), provider payment amount, provider settlement, and support in an Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR.)

Market-Based Pricing calculates reasonable and acceptable reimbursements benchmarked by procedure, provider, and geography.

Expert Pre-Payment Negotiation

Zelis Claims Negotiation succeeds through a combination of expertise, proactive provider outreach, and a demonstrable validity of market rates, driving a high rate of successfully retained savings – prior to payment.

Because providers can no longer balance bill the member for NSA claims, their billing practices on these claims are likely to change. Zelis will offer expert guidance for negotiating with providers and incorporating market median data for NSA claims.

Post-Payment Settlement

Zelis Claims Settlement manages the settlement process on your behalf to ensure compliance by defending, negotiating, and providing data needed for successful settlement, all within the timeframes required by the NSA.

Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) Support

As part of the IDR process, Zelis Claim Resolution will leverage our negotiations and claim settlement expertise, provide data, analytics, and reporting to support and defend clients in IDR, all within the time frames specified in the NSA.

Provider Behavior Insights

Some providers may use the threat of arbitration to persuade payers to settle for higher reimbursements. Zelis will help you understand the impact of various pricing strategies and their likelihood of acceptance. Zelis will collect, aggregate, and analyze claims settlement and arbitration data to develop a predictive model that illustrates the overall effectiveness of pricing and arbitration results, and how those evolve over time.

The Wrap Up

The NSA and TiC Rule will impact all healthcare organizations, from large health plans and systems to small medical offices and individual providers. As such, leaders across the healthcare industry must directly understand the details of the legislation prior to implementation or have a trusted advisor with legislative expertise who can guide them to appropriate solutions.

Zelis can help.

To further explore getting started with NSA and TiC compliance, reach out to your Zelis representative or contact us here.

For access to additional information, visit Zelis No Surprises Act Information Hub.