New York Times Examines Pattern of Surprise Hospital Bills Found by Yale Faculty

An article published in the New York Times on July 24 details a pattern of surprise bills after emergency care in certain hospitals, drawing on research by Fiona Scott Morton, the Theodore Nierenberg Professor of Economics at Yale SOM, and Zack Cooper, an assistant professor of public health and assistant professor of economics at Yale.

As part of a major study based on a large set of insurance claims, Scott Morton and Cooper found that when patients got emergency care at hospitals that contracted with EmCare, a physician-staffing company, they were much more likely to be billed for treatment by out-of-network doctors, even if the hospital was in their insurance network. 

At several hospitals that switched to EmCare, the percentage of bills that included charges for out-of-network doctors jumped to nearly 100%. “It almost looked like a light switch was being flipped on,” Cooper told the Times.

Read the article. 


Read an article in Yale Insights about previous findings from Scott Morton and Cooper.

Read Scott Morton and Cooper’s research on the website of the National Bureau of Economic Research.