Full Show

Surprise Medical Bills and Austin City Limits Turns 40: Houston Matters for Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

It seems straight-forward enough: With most health insurance plans, if you’re treated by a doctor in your plan’s network, the cost of that treatment will be less than if you see someone outside the network. So, if you need to go to the emergency room, it would stand to reason you’re better off going to […]

It seems straight-forward enough: With most health insurance plans, if you’re treated by a doctor in your plan’s network, the cost of that treatment will be less than if you see someone outside the network.

So, if you need to go to the emergency room, it would stand to reason you’re better off going to a hospital in network, too. Right?

Not always.

According to a report from the Center for Public Policy Priorities, doctors working in that ER are often hired as contractors. In fact, the CPPP found the three largest insurers in Texas bill about half of their ER charges as out-of-network services because those doctors are contractors. And that means that an already costly visit to the ER could end up costing a patient even more.

On this edition of Houston Matters, we learn about the report from Stacey Pogue, Senior Policy Analyst from the Center for Public Policy Priorities.

Also this hour: This month marks the 40th anniversary of Austin City Limits. We talk with Tracey Laird, author of Austin City Limits: A History, about the famed public television concert series’ legacy, how it’s helped put Austin music scene on the map, and how it’s contributed to our collective perceptions about Austin and Houston.

Plus: Houston Public Media’s fall fundraising campaign starts today. Throughout the next week, we remind you of the importance of your financial support to ensure the future of programs like Houston Matters. Your friends and neighbors provided the funds necessary to help start up this service. It’s up to you to sustain it. Please consider making a contribution at www.houstonpublicmedia.org or call 888-909-0887 and become a sustaining donor today. Thanks!

Share