Every year, millions of Americans are surprised to receive staggering medical bills after emergency or routine care from a provider they had no idea was outside of their insurers’ network—and often had no control in choosing. While one study in New York of large surprise bills for emergency care found that patients were billed over $3,500 on average, extreme cases can result in bills topping $250,000. Even careful planning may not always prevent patients from receiving surprise bills, as one in five non-elderly adults had received care at a hospital they thought was in-network but were still billed by a non-covered physician, whether an anesthesiologist, consulting surgeon, or other doctor. Yet, while stakeholders and policy experts agree this problem needs to be addressed, they disagree on how to tackle it.
On Thursday, October 13, the Schaeffer Initiative for Innovation in Health Policy released a white paper, “Solving Surprise Medical Bills,” and hosted an event bringing together representatives from health systems, insurers, and consumer advocacy groups, as well as policymakers and experts, to discuss solutions to comprehensively reduce surprise billing scenarios and resolve disputes over reimbursement for out-of-network care. The Schaeffer Initiative is a collaboration between the USC Schaeffer Center and the Brookings Center for Health Policy.
Judge Robert Maclay Widney Chair and Professor - USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics and USC Price School of Public Policy
Trustee - University of Southern California
Trustee - Brookings Institution
Nonresident Senior Fellow - Economic Studies, Center for Health Policy, USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy
Vice President - National Provider Solutions, Anthem, Inc.
Special Projects Director - Consumers Union
President Elect - American Society of Anesthesiologists
President and CEO - Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Leonard D. Schaeffer Chair in Health Policy Studies
Senior Fellow - Economic Studies
Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Economics - Yale University
Chief Economist - Council of Economic Advisers
Research Professor - Health Policy Institute, Georgetown University
Director of Research - Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics, USC
Vice Dean for Research and Professor - USC Price School of Public Policy
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