No matter how a patient's healthplan responds to an out-of-network bill, the result is higher costsfor consumers. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Patients would save billions of dollars a year if medicalspecialists were not allowed to bill out-of-network rates.

An analysis of 2015 data obtained from a "largecommercial insurer" showed that a significant percentage of medicalservices were billed out-of-network, including 11.8 percent ofanesthesiology care, 12.3 percent for care involving a pathologist,5.6 percent of claims for radiologists, and 11.3 percent of casesinvolving an assistant surgeon.

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