I want to reply to Zack Cooper of Yale as I strongly disagree with him on one topic. A screw the patient out of network billing strategy is a viable strategy for hospitals:
Low waits are great. That wasn’t the point. The point was that this hospital was focused on emergency care. Hence it knew it would see out-of-network patients. It should have had a strategy. ‘Screw patients’ is not an effective strategy.
— Zack Cooper (@zackcooperYale) August 31, 2018
My area of disagreement is simple. Insurers long for the day that they are more popular than chlamydia as that was at least fun to acquire.
Hospitals and, far more importantly, doctors are trusted and liked. Emergency rooms that treat people for heart attacks have a halo of good will even if there is a $100,000+ bill as the patient is still alive and kicking.
So when there is a billing dispute that ends up producing a massive surprise bill, the less popular and barely liked entity, the insurer is usually blamed for not doing a good job of taking care of the bill.
Screw the patient is a viable business strategy for a hospital as long as it can do so in a way that does not garner national press attention.