Feb 29, 2024

Why Is the ER So Expensive?

ask an advocate graphic, text overlay

    Ask an Advocate

    Why Is the ER So Expensive?

    The Emergency Room (ER or Emergency Department, ED) is the most expensive place in the country to receive care. Essentially, just walking into the ER, registering, speaking to a care provider briefly, and leaving can cost thousands of dollars, even if no actual medical care was provided. Why?

    In a nutshell, at every ER visit, no matter what hospital you go to, no matter how minor your medical needs are, you will be charged:

    • A facility fee: This is a hospital overhead fee (think, roof over your head) that helps cover the cost of keeping the facility open and staffed 24 hours per day, seven days per week, regardless of whether there are any patients to treat or not. There’s no national or state-regulated fee schedule for these services. Each hospital sets its own fee schedules.
    • Two separate evaluation and management fees: One from the hospital and one from the treating physician. These fees are for the overall service provided, which is separate from any specific procedures, tests, or treatments you may receive.
    • Two separate fees for each of the specific services you receive: One from the hospital and one from the treating physician or other medical professional.

    This is why we recommend using the ER exclusively for:

    • Life-threatening situations, or
    • Urgent issues when the care needed can’t wait until an urgent care facility or doctor’s office is available

    This having been said, we know from personal experience that receiving an unexpectedly high bill for a seemingly straightforward ER visit can be quite concerning, and billing mistakes do happen! If you have concerns about your ER bill or need assistance with navigating your insurance coverage, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 855-662-1029 or email us at advocacyservices@morrisgarritano.com.

    We’re here to support you and ensure you receive the care you need at a reasonable cost.

    Want to learn more about why ER visits are so expensive? Click the link below:

    How do facility fees contribute to rising emergency department costs? – Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker

    What "covered" should feel like.

    Share This