Medical bill Out-of-networkbilling may be more often the exception than the rule, but that'slittle comfort for patients unlucky enough to find themselves onthe hook for tens of thousands in unexpected bills. (Photo:Shutterstock)

Surprise medical bills, which puts patients on the hook formedical care provided by an out-of-network provider, continue to be a keyfocus of health care reform. Often, patients are unaware that oneof the specialists involved in a surgical procedure is not coveredby insurance until they receive the bill months later.

A recent analysis by the Health Care CostInstitute aimed to break down where surprise bills were most likelyto come from. Using data from more than 13.8 million patient visitsto identify the frequency of out-of-network billing among sixspecialties: emergency room visits, pathology, radiology,anesthesiology, behavioral health and cardiovascular.

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Emily Payne

Emily Payne is director, content analytics for ALM's Business & Finance Markets and former managing editor for BenefitsPRO. A Wisconsin native, she has spent the past decade writing and editing for various athletic and fitness publications. She holds an English degree and Business certificate from the University of Wisconsin.