By Kenneth Alltucker
June 4, 2019
Hospital emergency rooms are more likely to charge pricier levels of care than a decade ago, generating bigger bills that consumers increasingly must pay with their own money, according to a new report.
The nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) examined insurance claims for a decade’s worth of hospital emergency room bills, analyzing millions of insurance claims for people under the age of 65 who get health insurance through an employer.
HCCI found that hospital emergency rooms not only substantially increased prices for care from 2008 through 2017. The hospitals and doctors also billed for more complex care, which allows them to collect more lucrative fees from consumers, employers and private insurers.
The average emergency room visit cost $1,389 in 2017, up 176% over the decade. That is the cost of entry for emergency care; it does not include extra charges such as blood tests, IVs, drugs or other treatments.