More Patients Are Getting Hit With Surprise Medical Bills, And The Price Tags Are Going Up, Too
A study finds that over 42% of patients hospitalized or treated in an emergency room received surprise bills in 2016. “Out-of-network billing appears to have become common for privately insured patients even when they seek treatment at in-network hospitals,” the researchers concluded. As the costs of health care continue to grow for many Americans, two former collection agency executives are trying to make a dent by forgiving medical debt.
Study: 4 In 10 Patients Faced Surprise Bills In 2016 After Visiting In-Network Hospitals
Four in 10 privately insured patients faced surprise medical bills after visiting emergency rooms or getting admitted to hospitals in 2016, according to a new study published Monday in the American Medical Association's internal medicine journal. The average price tag for a surprise bill related to care at an emergency department was $628 in 2016, up from $220 in 2010, according to the study. The average surprise bill for inpatient admissions increased from $804 in 2010 to $2,040 in 2016. (Hellmann, 8/12)
Surprise Medical Bills Becoming More Frequent And Costly
Surprise out-of-network billing and related patients' costs are increasing among inpatient admissions and emergency department visits to in-network hospitals, according to a study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. Stanford University researchers found that from 2010 through 2016, 39% of 13.6 million trips to the ED at an in-network hospital by privately insured patients resulted in an out-of-network bill. That figure increased during the study period from about a third of ED visits nationwide in 2010 to 42.8% in 2016. (Livingston, 8/12)
Former Collection Agency Executives Start Charity To Buy And Forgive Medical Debt
Craig Antico and Jerry Ashton, founders of RIP Medical Debt, decided to use their expertise to forgive medical debt instead of collecting it. So far, their company has abolished hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. They want to reach a billion by 2020. (Young, 8/12)