Yale Research Points to Dallas Company for Spike in Costly Hospital Bills

Dallas-based emergency room staffing company EmCare is to blame for a surge in "surprise" medical bills in Texas and other states, according to health policy and economics researchers at Yale University.EmCare and Tennessee-based TeamHealth together make up a third of the national market for companies hired to staff and manage emergency rooms for hospitals. But the rate of more expensive out-of-network billing at ERs managed by EmCare is nearly five times higher than its competitor, the Yale study found.The research relied on claims data from an unidentified commercial health insurer. The Yale authors contend that not only did out-of-network bills rise when EmCare took over an emergency room, but so did the rates of tests ordered and patient admissions to a hospital.In a prepared statement, EmCare dismissed the findings as "fundamentally flawed and dated." It also said the study ignores other forces that drive decisions across a health care delivery system, including quality of care. EmCare is a division of Colorado-based Envision Healthcare, a publicly traded company with $3.7 billion in revenue in 2016. EmCare is hired to recruit and evaluate doctors' credentials and coordinate their contracts at local hospitals.  Continue reading...

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