If you have been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you are no doubt overwhelmed. If that accident required emergency treatment, you are probably also facing exorbitant expenses. A 2017 study by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) finds that emergency care expenses vary widely from state to state and even from hospital to hospital. If you need emergency care, however, you have precious little opportunity to shop around for reasonable prices.
The JAMA Study
This comprehensive study critically analyzed emergency care billing records from 2013 for more than 12,000 emergency room doctors in nearly 3,000 hospitals across the country. The results are eye-opening:
- On average, emergency care facilities charge 340 percent more than the Medicare allowable amount, which equals—for any given emergency service—the sum of Medicare reimbursement, the beneficiary’s deductible and copay, and any applicable third-party payments.
- The variability in emergency charges for identical services ranged from matching the Medicare allowable amount to be 12.6 times greater than that amount. The senior investigator in this JAMA study explained to Healthline News that, while some believe that Medicare allowable amounts are too low, to begin with, their research found that most hospitals do accept Medicare patients, which indicates that such is likely a profitable practice.
- Emergency departments also frequently charged more for identical services provided by internal medicine departments—even when the services were performed in the same hospital.
Hospitals will sometimes waive certain charges or negotiate other charges down, but often patients are left facing the entire bill. Those patients who are underinsured, uninsured, or have insurance that disallows access to care that’s out of network are especially vulnerable to the often-erratic expense of emergency treatment.
The Senior Investigator’s Conclusions
If you have been injured and need emergency care, you are naturally not in any condition to question an emergency department’s billing practices. The senior investigator went on to explain that, while some variation in pricing is expected, this level of consistent discrepancy amounts to predatory pricing. In other words, an emergency center’s payment contract can impose egregious markups upon those vulnerable consumers who need emergency medical treatment.
Your Personal Injury Claim
If someone else’s negligence caused you injury, you are probably overwhelmed. You should not, however, be left facing exorbitant bills for emergency medical treatment or for any other expenses. A skilled personal injury attorney can help you recover the full compensation to which you’re entitled for your medical expenses, including those for emergency treatment.
If Someone Else’s Negligence Has Left You Injured, Contact a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you have suffered an injury that was caused by someone else’s negligence, do not simply accept the losses you have incurred. After seeking immediate medical attention, consult with a knowledgeable Richmond, Virginia, personal injury attorney. The legal team at Emroch & Kilduff has the experience, expertise, and dedication to guide your claim toward full and just compensation. We’re here to help, so contact or call us at (804) 358-1568 for an initial consultation today.