Advancing Research • Shaping Policy • Developing Leaders
Zack Cooper on the Bipartisan Plan to End Surprise Billings
September 25, 2018
Health policy writer Sarah Kliff explains her recent trip to a hospital emergency room, how surprise ER billing works, and the new bipartisan Senate proposal to protect consumers from these high hospital bills.
She follows up with Zack Cooper, who along with Fiona Scott Morton, wrote the pioneering research paper “Surprise! Out-of-Network Billing for Emergency Care in the United States” that exposed the frequency and surprising costs of emergency rooms out-of-network bills to patients. Though Cooper has some reservations with Senate proposal since the costs of the hospital visits will be based on out-of-network reimbursement rates on current in-network rates, he finds the proposal on the whole quite good.
“It’s one of those areas where we can agree what is happening now is not good, and this gets us 80 percent of the way to fixing it,” Cooper says.