CBG, I'm going to differ with your post on many points. First, your numbers are all wrong as these bills are typically on the order of thousands not hundreds, very, very few procedures seem to be billed in increments of 100 or less. Second, personally as a worker in the health care industry with knowledge of common billing practices, the "out of network" numbers are inflated by a multiple of 4 or 5, which all the billing departments of healthcare providers are instructed to do so that they can assure themselves a payment rate they can live with in the in-network rates. To be stuck with "out of network" rates therefore is highway robbery. Third, you're thinking that a patient in a in-network hospital has any control to "act as a consumer" when selecting these physicians, but in emergency cases, where mere moments mean the matter of life and death, figuring out which of perhaps a half dozen supporting physicians accept your insurance seems ludicrous. In such an event a doctor has accepted a responsibility to the patient by being present in the operating room of the hospital. If he was interested in collecting his personal rate, he should be in his private office/clinic. Fourth, if I were a plumber, called into fix a leaky faucet, but instead ripped up an entire plumbing stack and then stuck you with a $10,000 bill for a $200 job, would you continue to say that you received a service are the plumber is therefore entitled to payment?
There is a name for this behaviour and it is Extortion.
I do not understand how this is allowed to continue.