October 30, 2019
An Op Ed by Dr Vidor Friedman, past president of ACEP.
There are few healthcare policy issues as pressing as finding a solution for out-of-network, or "surprising billing," of patients. Physicians take an oath to provide the best possible care we can—but that's not possible when our patients are afraid of getting a surprise bill for medical costs they thought would be covered by their insurance.
Over the past 12 years insurance companies have been steadily increasing their deductibles—leaving patients on the hook for upwards of thousands of dollars before coverage even starts. In addition, insurers have sold plans without sufficient in-network care providers, also called "narrow networks." Narrow networks, combined with high deductibles, are most often the cause of surprise medical bills.
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