1 in 5 turns covered with surprise bill for surgery

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By Serena Gordon
Reporter HealthDay

TUESDAY, February 11, 2020 (HealthDay News) – You scheduled a surgery and made sure both doctors and hospitals are in your network of covered providers. Everything happens without a hitch – until an invoice appears in the mail for "off-line" care during your operation.

An out-of-network surprise bill averages up to $ 2,000, a new study shows. And about 20% of patients who had surgery using doctors and hospitals considered in their insurance network received an unexpected bill.

So what gives? In some cases, the unexpected bill is for medical imaging during surgery or for assistants that the patient doesn't even know will be involved.

"In this study, we narrowed it down to what patients did as well as they could check to make sure surgeons and hospitals were in the network, and still one in five had chemotherapy. out-of-network applications, "said the study's lead author, Dr. Karan Chhabra of the University of Michigan's Institute for Health Care and Innovation in Ann Arbor.

He said 37% of the surprise bill came from out-of-network surgical assistants. Another 37% came from anesthesiologists. The average out-of-network surgical assistant bill is more than $ 3,600; Anesthesia bill topped $ 1,200.

The findings were published on February 11 in Journal of the American Medical Association.

Some people might consider the average $ 2,000 surprise bill a big deal ….


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