Latest Kaiser Health News Stories
On average, 16% of inpatient stays and 18% of emergency visits left a patient with at least one out-of-network charge, most of those came from doctors offering treatment at the hospital, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
New research shows how an experience with surprise medical bills can guide patients’ future decision-making.
The latest example is Sutter Health and Anthem Blue Cross, whose failure to seal a deal is causing Anthem members to worry they may not have access to one of the dominant hospital chains in Northern California. Across the U.S., the stakes in such contract fights have risen, as health systems and insurers battle to increase their market share.
Restrictive lists of doctors and hospitals expose people to larger out-of-pocket costs, but trend appears to be slowing.
Most acquisitions by hospitals of physician practices are too small to trigger antitrust attention, study says. But a buying spree of “onesies and twosies” doctor practices has driven competition down and prices up.
A California law that takes effect July 1 prohibits out-of-network charges if you visit a medical facility that’s in your health plan’s network. New York and Florida also offer strong consumer protections.