With Balance Billing Becoming More Common, an Unlikely Hero Emerges


With Balance Billing Becoming More Common, an Unlikely Hero Emerges

Dec, 24th 2016

This analysis is part of The Leonard D. Schaeffer Initiative for Innovation in Health Policy, which is a partnership between the Center for Health Policy at Brookings and the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics. The Initiative aims to inform the national health care debate with rigorous, evidence-based analysis leading to practical recommendations using the collaborative strengths of USC and Brookings.

Each year, millions of Americans seek care at a facility in their insurer’s network or with an in-network physician only to be hit with a surprise bill from an out-of-network provider involved in their care who they did not actively choose. These bills can be very large because out-of-network providers can “balance bill” the patient—meaning that the provider bills a patient for the difference between what the...

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