Medical bill Out-of-network billing may be more often the exception than the rule, but that’s little comfort for patients unlucky enough to find themselves on the hook for tens of thousands in unexpected bills. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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

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

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Emily Payne

Emily Payne is the current deputy editor 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.

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