Surprise, Your Doctor Was Out-of-Network

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I am sure you will find this amusing:

A new study that looked at more than 2 million emergency department visits found that more than 1 in 5 patients who went to ERs within their health-insurance networks ended up being treated by an “out-of-network” doctor — and thus exposed to additional charges not covered by their insurance plan.

And the average out-of-network bill those patients faced, unless their insurance plan ultimately agreed to cover it, was more than $622, according to the study by two researchers from the Yale School of Public Health and the Yale School of Management.

But the bills can be much higher than that, according to the researchers, who pointed out that one patient they were aware of faced a potential balance bill of more than $19,600. On average, out-of-network emergency department doctors were paid nearly 2.7-times what in-network doctors were paid for the same services, according to the research.

As if you are going to ask a doctor, during your emergency, whether he or she is in-network?  This is lunacy!

Narrow networks, in-networks, out-of-networks, etc.  All meaningless. Can we stop this crap already?

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