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An emergency room. Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

Vox has another installment in its series on emergency room billing, and it's (once again) a doozy. This time, a patient went to an in-network hospital for emergency jaw surgery, but received treatment from an out-of-network surgeon and thus found himself responsible for a nearly $8,000 hospital bill.

Why it matters: Even the most responsible of patients — like this one, who made sure the hospital he was in was in-network before undergoing surgery — are getting stuck between insurers and providers who can't agree on rates, finding themselves on the hook for medical bills that the average person can't afford.

Some eye-popping statistics, from Vox:

  • One study "found as many as one in five emergency room visits led to a surprise bill from an out-of-network provider involved in the care."
  • "Surprise bills are the most common in emergency room visits where the patient is ultimately admitted to the hospital for further treatment. Twenty percent of those patients end up with an out-of-network bill, often from specialists."
  • "Separate data ... finds that a staggering number of Texas emergency rooms have zero in-network emergency physicians — meaning that patients are guaranteed to see a doctor who does not accept their health insurance."

Go deeper

Pakistan PM will "absolutely not" allow CIA to use bases for Afghanistan operations

Pakistan will "absolutely not" allow the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to use bases on its soil for cross-border counterterrorism missions after American forces withdraw from Afghanistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan tells "Axios on HBO" in a wide-ranging interview airing Sunday at 6 pm ET.

Why it matters: The quality of counterterrorism and intelligence capabilities in Afghanistan is a critical question facing the Biden administration as U.S. forces move closer to total withdrawal by Sept. 11.

5 hours ago - World

U.S. wants nuclear deal done before Iran's new president takes power

Iranian negotiatorAbbas Araghchi arrives at the Grand Hotel Wien for the nuclear talks. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration wants to finalize a deal with Iran to return to the 2015 nuclear deal in the six weeks remaining before a new Iranian president is inaugurated, a U.S. official tells Axios.

Key quote: The official said it would be "concerning" if talks dragged on into early August, when Iran's transition is due to take place. "If we don't have a deal before a new government is formed, I think that would raise serious questions about how achievable it's going to be," the official said.