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Emergency Physicians Are Working to Protect Patients From Surprise Bills

A trip to the emergency department can be an incredibly stressful experience. For someone experiencing a medical emergency, getting quality treatment as soon as possible should be the number one priority—not determining which providers are in-network, how much their deductible is, or thinking about how much treatment will cost. More than half of Americans have received a surprise medical bill in the past year for a cost they thought was covered by their insurance. (NORC) Often, these surprises result from a lack of customer understanding of complex insurance benefits or increasingly high deductibles.

  • More than half (59%) of patients said they wish their insurance company provided plans with lower deductibles, so they could better afford the health care they need.
  • More than three-quarters (81%) of patients believe the majority of costs associated with surprise medical bills are the responsibility of insurance providers.
  • More than two-thirds (69%) of patients prefer a third-party resolution process over allowing the government to set doctors’ rates.
  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of Americans are concerned about the effect government rate setting would have on small communities already facing hospital and doctor shortages.

Source: Morning Consult Poll

Emergency physicians agree that a federal solution would help take patients #OutOfTheMiddle of billing disputes that can sometimes arise between insurers and providers. But, if it’s not done right, patients’ access to care could be in jeopardy and health insurance companies will be the big winners—leaving patients out in the cold.

Press releases

6.26.19 Physicians Strongly Support House Effort to Protect Patients from Surprise Bills

6.26.19 ACEP Supports "Protecting People From Surprise Medical Bills Act"

6.24.19 Patients Want Insurance Companies to Take More Responsibility for Surprise Bills, Poll Finds

6.19.19 ACEP Response to Senate HELP Proposal on Surprise Billing

6.13.19 ACEP to Congress: Take Patients Out of the Middle, Prevent Surprise Bills

5.24.19 ACEP and ASA Response to Senate HELP Proposal on Surprise Billing

5.23.19 ACEP Applauds Reps. Ruiz, Roe, and Bipartisan Coalition for Protecting Patients from Surprise Bills

5.9.19 Emergency Physicians: White House Principles Must Go Further to Protect Patients from Surprise Bills

1.28.19 ACEP Presents Framework to Protect Emergency Patients From Out of Network Billing Issues

Resources

ACEP Response: JAMA Internal Medicine Study on Surprise Bills is Fundamentally Flawed

Surprise Billing One pager: Protecting Emergency Patients from Surprise Bills

IDR Facts: The Best Federal Solution to Protect Patients from Surprise Bills

IDR Infographic: Keep Patients #OutOfTheMiddle

ACEP Framework: Protecting Patients When Emergency Care is Out of Network

ACEP Capital Minute: Special Edition on Surprise Billing

OpEd/The Hill: Want to solve surprise medical bills? Listen to patients (Dr. Vidor Friedman, July 11, 2019)

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