Taber Andrew Bain If you're in the back of an ambulance and have control of your hand, you should probably try to call the hospital and find out if the on-call ER staff are in your network.
What's that? Your arm just fell off? Naturally your first reaction might be something along the lines of, "Thank goodness I'm insured!" Your next reaction might be to scream in agony, but instead you might want to suck it up, save your breath and tell the ambulance driver not to take you to Baylor University Medical Center.
Don't misunderstand -- Baylor doctors will probably patch you up just fine. But according to a new report, even insured patients are more likely to be saddled with horrendous bills after visiting the emergency room at Baylor or dozens of other ERs across the state. On Monday, the Center for Public Policy Priorities outlined "balance billing" problems in Texas. That's the bill insured patients are saddled with after they unknowingly accept care from an out-of-network physician.
The report focused on emergency room care, and cited Baylor as one major in-network hospital that works with the three largest state providers -- Humana, BlueCross BlueShield and United Healthcare -- but does not have any in-network emergency room doctors.More »