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Many US patients are hit with surprise emergency care bills, study finds

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i6200 (Published 18 November 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i6200
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. Seattle

Roughly a fifth of insured US patients who obtained care at a hospital that was in their health plan’s network were potentially exposed to substantial “surprise bills” because they received treatment from emergency room staff who came from outside the network, a new study has found.1

Hospital physicians typically compete on the basis of quality and price to be included in health insurance plan networks, but many in-network hospitals contract out their emergency department care to groups of independent physicians who may or may not be …

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