Fuse Brown Speaks on Health Reform

In October, Erin Fuse Brown, associate professor of law, travelled to Seton Hall University School of Law as its Distinguished Visiting Health Law Scholar. Fuse Brown’s public presentation focused on consumer financial protection in health care, based on her recent Washington University Law Review article.

Erin C. Fuse Brown
(Photo courtesy of American University Washington College of Law)

“The experience of being a health care consumer can be terrible. Not only are prices completely opaque, patients can be charged out-of-network medical bill and facility fees that were totally unanticipated and unavoidable, and then they can be sued for not paying the full bill,” Fuse Brown said. “My recent work focuses on legal and policy solutions to protect health care consumers from these unfair billing practices.”

Fuse Brown also gave a presentation to the Seton Hall faculty on the problems the preemptive effects of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) pose for state efforts at health reforms.

“With all the paralysis at the federal level, states have been leading the way in health care reform efforts, ranging from prescription drug pricing legislation, surprise medical billing laws, and even plans for single payer or other major reforms,” she said. “Unfortunately, ERISA preemption has grown so broad that these state efforts are thwarted for many consumers who get their coverage from employer-based health plans.”

Immediately following her visit at Seton Hall, Fuse Brown presented on ERISA at the Next Steps in Health Reform conference hosted by American University’s Washington College of Law and the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics. This conference brought together leading health law, policy and economics experts to discuss the recent developments in health care, including public and private insurance and pharmaceutical reforms, and their public health implications.

Fuse Brown also published an article this January on ERISA preemption of state efforts in the New England Journal of Medicine.