PALO ALTO, CA (NBC NEWS) – More privately insured patients are getting hit with out-of-network bills despite going to in-network hospitals.
Researchers studied six years worth of hospital records involving nearly 19 million patients who had all gone to in-network hospitals.
Overall, nearly 40-percent of all ER visits and 37-percent of all hospital admissions resulted with an out-of-network charge.
And, the cost of these unexpected charges has also gone up.
For ER visits, the average cost increased from over $200 to over $600 while for admissions it increased from $800 to over $2,000.
A common example of an out-of-network charge was ambulance transport.
The scientists say the percentage of ER visits with an out-of-network bill increased from over 32-percent to nearly 43-percent.
And hospital admissions increased from over 26-percent to 42-percent.