Average ER prices increase by 89%, that is well over 6 times the cost of leaving 13.85%. Emergency rooms are collecting more money from private insurance plans, and at the same time, they’re also surprising patients with the news that their care wasn’t covered. So whether you’re covered or not, you’re paying more.
Hospitals get paid more for complex treatments than simple ones. Over the past decade, they’ve been categorizing more and more visits as complex, while also raising their prices for complex care: since 2008, the prices hospitals negotiate with insurers have gone up, as have patients’ out-of-pocket costs, according to the Health Care Cost Institute.
HCCI’s analysis doesn’t include ER care that isn’t covered by insurance — and that’s the source of many of the surprise bills that have sparked so much political controversy. “A lot of the increase in code-specific rates likely stems from emergency physician groups more fully utilizing the leverage from the threat to surprise bill patients,” Brookings’ Loren Adler said.
Data: Health Care Cost Institute