Have you ever been to the emergency room at a hospital, thought you were covered by your insurance and ended up with a bill that didn’t seem quite right? There’s a pretty good chance that you have. According to one study, 1 out of 5 trips to the ER includes a treatment by an out-of-network doctor, and that’s what leads to surprise bills.Take the survey
The concept of surprise billing, or a patient receiving a bill from an out-of-network provider in an in-network facility, is hardly a new concept. In fact, if it feels like you’ve been hearing about us fighting this battle for years, that’s because we have.Read more
It’s been weeks since the ball dropped, the calendar flipped, and the local gyms received an influx of new fitness enthusiasts hoping to make good on that New Year’s resolution (you got this, friends!).Read more
Surprise billing is no laughing matter, but we have to give it up to the Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing for its new, lighter approach. In a series of new spots, the group uses humor—including one scene where an out-of-network barber charges a customer $200 for a haircut—to make its position clear.
The ads are specifically pointed at a gimmick called arbitration, in which the private equity groups that employ doctors and take them out of network, are now attempting to use to remove themselves from lawmakers’ microscopes. Stopping surprise billing has been a hot-button issue in Washington D.C. at all levels of government, including with President Donald Trump.
As a recap, a surprise bill is the result of a patient visiting a hospital they believe to be in network but receiving care from a provider who is not. It’s unfair, immoral and impacts about one in six patients—including those with insurance.
While arbitration might seem like a fair and equitable way to decide the fate of a patient’s charges, it fails to address the root of the problem. Instead of lowering the rates, it puts the decision in the hands of someone else with potentially little knowledge or awareness about how to set the rate in that particular market.
Even worse, if a rate is not favorable for the patient, it sets a bad precedent that could lead to more and more providers choosing to go out of network.
Each humorous ad ends in the same serious way. It reminds the viewer that arbitration won’t fix the flaws in surprise billing—only fair market-based prices will.
We couldn’t agree more, which is why we’ve been speaking out against this unfair practice for years. Check out the ads for yourself here, and sign-up below to find out what you can do to stop surprise billing.Read more
Picture sitting in your living room watching the evening news when the broadcast goes to break and cuts to a scene of a badly injured 16-year-old girl en route to the hospital via ambulance. The actors appear professional and the camerawork superb—almost like something you’d see on a network TV drama.Read more
A surprise is supposed to be fun, right? Not if it's a surprise bill.
Studies show that 1 out of every 5 visits to the ER includes treatment by an out of network doctor. The result for the patient is an unpleasant and often very large surprise bill.
Have you been the victim of a surprise bill from an out of network doctor? By sharing your story, you could save millions of North Carolinians from the same fate and even help drive legislation to fix a broken system that hurts so many people financially and drives up health care costs for everyone.
Please tell us a little about what happened to you when you received your surprise hospital bill, and how it impacted your life.Share Your Story
When it comes to consumerism in health care, one of the most important things we constantly urge for our readers is to be a knowledgeable consumer. That means doing the preparation in advance to know what type of out-of-pocket costs you might expect so that you can best prepare for your financial responsibility as a patient.Read more