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New rule would ban out-of-network medical bills. As of January 1, 2022, health care consumers will no longer be confronted with surprise medical bills. A new rule issued by the Biden administration is the first in a series to implement the "No Surprises Act" passed as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. The ruling prohibits balance billing, a practice whereby medical facilities and providers bill patients for the difference between what the insurance company allows and the cost of unavoidable out-of-network care. The practice has led to many patients receiving "surprise" bills, in some cases for thousands of dollars. It most commonly happens when a patient needs emergency care or when they receive ancillary care from an out-of-network provider, such as an anesthesiologist, for services provided at an in-network facility. Ambulance services are a particular offender, with as much as 71% of ambulance rides resulting in surprise billing. The ruling bans surprise billing for emergency services, out-of-network charges for ancillary care in an in-network facility, and out-of-network charges in all other circumstances without advance notice.