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Study Finds Surprise Medical Billing Becoming More Common in ED and Inpatient Settings

A study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that out-of-network billing is becoming more common and potentially more costly in both the emergency department and inpatient settings. Researchers analyzed 5,457,981 inpatient admissions and 13,579,006 emergency department admissions between 2010 and 2016 in a large national sample of privately insured patients. They found the incidence of out-of-network billing increased from 32.3% to 42.8% of emergency department visits, and the mean potential liability to patients increased from $220 to $628. For inpatient admissions, the incidence of out-of-network billing increased from 26.3% to 42.0%, and the mean potential liability to patients increased from $804 to $2040.

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